|Florida State QB Rape Investigation|
|Topic Started: Nov 21 2013, 02:29 AM (16,563 Views)|
|Baldo||Nov 21 2013, 02:29 AM Post #1|
We have been here before so none of us know the truth but this is an case which has explosive possibilities. Florida State Red-Shirt Freshman Jameis Winston is having a phenomenal year leading FSU to #2 in the nation and a possible National Championship Game. He is one of the Heisman candidates and says all the right things as a leader.
If felony charges are brought against him FSU policy is immediate suspension from any athletic teams.
Test links Winston's DNA to accuser
TALLAHASSEE -- A DNA analysis completed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Tuesday confirmed that DNA provided by Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston matched the sample taken from the underwear of a woman who has accused him of sexual battery.
According to the DNA analysis report, a copy of which was viewed by ESPN.com on Wednesday, the Florida state crime lab determined that the chances of the DNA in the woman's underwear are a match for someone other than Winston was one in 2.2 trillion.
Police obtained a sexual assault kit on Dec. 7, 2012, when the accuser reported the alleged incident had occurred at an off-campus apartment. Winston's DNA was recently obtained through a buccal swab he provided to authorities investigating the case.
The DNA match alone does not prove that Winston, a leading Heisman Trophy candidate, sexually assaulted the woman, as the accuser's family claimed in a statement released by a Tampa-based attorney on Wednesday. But it does indicate that Winston, who has yet to talk to Tallahassee police or the state attorney investigating the case, had his DNA associated with the accuser on Dec. 7, 2012, when the accuser claimed she was sexually assaulted.
William Meggs, the state attorney for the 2nd Judicial Circuit, said his office is still investigating the case, which was only referred to his office by Tallahassee police last week.
"Everybody wants to know what's going on," Meggs said earlier Wednesday. "So do we. We're in the process of trying to figure out what's going on. We haven't determined how it's going to turn out."
Meggs couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the DNA report Wednesday night. Tim Jansen, Winston's attorney, didn't immediately respond to a text message from an ESPN reporter.
When Meggs was asked Wednesday whether he believed his office could adequately investigate the case more than 11 months after the crime allegedly occurred, he said: "I'm pretty confident, as much as anybody can be. There are two kinds of evidence: testimonial and physical. We'll have what we have at the end of the day and then we'll evaluate what we have."...snipped
Jameis Winston, College Football Star, Targeted In State Attorney Meggs Cover Up 14 Nov 2013
Florida State Attorney William Meggs is claiming no prior knowledge of the sexual assault case brought against college football star Jameis Winston. In truth, Meggs, who has a history of questionable and discriminatory practices, is reopening the case just as Winston rises to athletic stardom....snipped
The Positive DNA Test has really changed things.
Is it a false accusation? Is it consensual sex? Was it rape? Is pressure being applied on the DA to not bring charges because he is a FSU super-star?
This one has big ramifications either way.
|abb||Nov 21 2013, 04:12 AM Post #2|
Family of victim in Jameis Winston assault case questions Tallahassee police conduct
November 20, 2013|By Brendan Sonnone, Orlando Sentinel
The family of the victim in the pending Jameis Winston sexual assault investigation is questioning Tallahassee police conduct.
A Tallahassee detective investigating Winston’s involvement in the assault refused to collect Winston’s DNA or interview at least one witness, according to a written statement released by the victim’s family to the Tampa Bay Times.
The family wrote Tallahassee police detective Scott Angulo told the woman’s attorney, “Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable.”
Interim Tallahassee police chief Tom Coe held a press conference Wednesday night stating his department could only make limited remarks about the case because it is an open investigation and he did not want to influence the way the victim and Winston were treated.
“In February of 2013, the case was classified as open but inactive when the victim in the case broke of contact with TPD and her attorney indicated that she did not want to move forward at that time,” Coe said.
He did not address the family’s comments about the way his department handled the case, although he said he looked forward to a time when the case was no longer pending when he could discuss more of the details about the investigation.
The Tampa Bay Times reported the victim is a Florida State student from the Tampa area who did not know Winston when the assault took place in December 2012 and did not identify him until January.
The case became public last week when media outlets began requesting copies of a sexual assault incident report involving Winston. The family wrote in the statement the woman did not inform the media about the investigation. “The victim was trying to move on with her life, which has now been turned upside down once again,” the statement read.
The family wrote it was disappointed Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, was alerted about the incident “as far back as February.” The family stated that if it knew Jansen was aware of the matter, it would have insisted that the Tallahassee police immediately collect Winston’s DNA and interview potential witnesses.
Jansen told the Orlando Sentinel that he believed “the matter was resolved and closed since February.”
“We don’t know why it is out now,” Jansen told the Sentinel. “In February, I talked with police and they informed me the case was closed. Nothing has transpired since February and we were kind of surprised it was re-opened.”
The family wrote in the statement the victim was not intoxicated during the assault. The statement also posed a series of questions, asking why Winston wasn’t named in the police report released to the media and why the case wasn’t referred to the state attorney until media outlets began inquiring about the case.
The statement indicated the victim’s attorney and Angulo discussed suspending the case so the woman could seek counseling before deciding whether to proceed with the case, but her attorney still pressed for the collection of evidence.
Tallahassee city manager Anita Favors Thompson told city counselors the investigation was delayed when the woman reporting the altercation initially did not want to press charges, according to an email obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat.
Coe said Wednesday night “when we received a media inquiry, TPD consulted with the state attorney’s office. At that time, that case was re-opened or reactivated. Let me reiterate to you please, the case was never closed. It was classified as inactive but open.”
The off-campus incident was handed to state attorney Willie Meggs‘ office for the first time Nov. 12. Meggs began reviewing the case on Nov. 13, the day the Orlando Sentinel and a long list of other media outlets obtained a redacted incident report in connection with a sexual assault. Winston's attorney later confirmed to the Sentinel the quarterback was the person accused of being involved in the altercation.
Chief assistant state attorney Georgia Cappleman told the Sentinel no timeline has been set for determining whether charges will be filed in connection with the case.
|abb||Nov 21 2013, 04:16 AM Post #3|
Update: City contends complainant in Jameis Winston case cut off contact with TPD in February
Written by Jennifer Portman Democrat Senior Writer
Nov. 20, 2013 | tallahassee.com
At a short news conference hastily called by city officials Wednesday night, TPD Interim Police Chief Tom Coe read a written statement explaining that many of the questions being posed by media outlets could not be answered because of the open nature of the case. He did not directly respond to issues raised by in the family’s letter, including the detective’s alleged comments.
During his three-minute statement, however, Coe said TPD investigators immediately began working the case as soon as they received it from Florida State University Police in December 2012, collecting evidence and interviewing the woman.
But, Coe said, the woman cut off contact with TPD in February and her attorney indicated she did not wish to go forward at that time - a contention the woman’s attorney said Wednesday is not true.
Coe said the case was on “open but inactive” status until media reports prompted the department to consult with State Attorney Williw Meggs last week and the case was reactivated.
“There are many statements and comments being made daily, some of which are factual, some are not factual,” Coe said. “We fully understand there is immense interest in this nationwide case. Everyday there are going to be new statements, some new allegations, new perspectives on this case. And frankly, we will not be able to comment on those every day because this is an active investigation in cooperation with the state attorneys’ office.”
Coe added: “When can say more about this case we certainly will, and look forward to that day. We hope to move it forward as quickly as we can in coordination with the state attorney’s office and bring closure to it.”
The family of the woman who identified Florida State quarterback Winston as the man who sexually battered her criticized the Tallahassee Police Department Wednesday, saying a detective warned against proceeding with the case because Tallahassee is “a big football town” and she would be “raked over the coals.”
A statement from the family says that on Dec. 7, 2012, the woman was raped by an unknown person. The woman immediately reported it to law enforcement and cooperated with all requests from officers, the letter says.
In early January, the woman identified Winston as the attacker, the letter says. The family became concerned that she “would be targeted on campus” and requested help from an attorney friend. The attorney contacted TPD Detective Scott Angulo.
“When the attorney contacted Detective Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the attorney that Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable,” the letter said.
The family provided the two-page statement to the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday, and the Tallahassee Democrat obtained its own copy. The family’s name is not referenced in the letter. The Democrat does not identify victims of sexual assault.
The woman’s Dade City attorney, Patricia Carroll, said in a telephone interview Wednesday she was shocked by the detective’s comments and assumed that the State Attorney’s Office had been notified of the case.
“I believed at the time that the state attorney was certainly in the loop. I made that assumption because it is protocol,” said Carroll, a former state prosecutor now in private practice.
TPD officials, however, did not bring the case to State Attorney Willie Meggs’ office until Nov. 12, following media requests for the police report to be released. Meggs began working on the 11-month old case the following day. Carroll said the woman is cooperating with prosecutors.
Meggs said Wednesday his decision on whether to charge Winston could come next week.
Carroll said she learned of the media inquires on Nov. 12, when TPD Sgt. Joanna Baldwin called her about the pending information requests.
“That is the first we heard anything about it,” Carroll said.
The woman was in Tallahassee and enrolled in classes at FSU, Carrol said. The next day, police released a redacted copy of the report, the story quickly spread and she packed up and went home. Contrary to some media reports, Carroll said the woman never left the state.
“This who thing blowing up in the news is certainly not a positive development for the victim who has been trying to get on with her life,” Carroll said. “It is not with glee that (her family) decided to release a statement.”
TPD spokesman David Northway said any comment on the family’s statement would come from Interim Police Chief Tom Coe, but nothing was provided as of Wednesday evening.
The family said it wanted to allow time for Meggs to address TPD’s “questionable investigation” into the woman’s rape and had not responded to a “barrage of media inquires,” but that recent media reports prompted the release of the statement.
Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen of Tallahassee, declined to comment on the family’s letter.
“I’m going to follow the request I made of Mr. Meggs and not comment on the facts of the case until he makes his decision (whether to press charges against Winston),” said Jansen, who added he is being retained by Winston, not FSU, and is not affiliated with the university in any way.
The family’s letter includes a list of questions about TPD’s handling of the case and contradicts some previously published reports. In an email written last week by Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors Thompson to city commissioners and obtained by the Democrat Tuesday, Favors Thompson said the woman was intoxicated after drinking at a local bar and the case stalled because she did not wish to go forward with the prosecution.
The letter, however, says Angulo told the family the woman was not intoxicated based on her blood work and that she was cooperating with police. Carroll told the detective the family needed to obtain additional blood-work and DNA results to make a more informed decision.
“At that time, Detective Angulo specifically refused to collect Winston’s DNA or interview Winston’s roommate who witnessed the attack,” the letter said. “Detective Angulo stated that such activity would alert Winston and the matter could go public.”
The family’s letter said Carroll repeatedly tried to get laboratory results from Angulo and TPD’s victim advocate, and that the woman and her family were available at all times to investigators. Carroll said at no time did her client tell police she did not want to go forward with the case. The family also thought only law enforcement was aware of the incident.
“If the victim had been aware that Winston’s attorney was alerted as far back as February, she would have insisted that the Tallahassee Police Department immediately collect DNA and interview, at the very least, Winston’s roommate who witnessed the attack,” the letter said.
The letter says the woman was “devastated” when she learned last week that Winston’s attorney knew about the case for so long, allowing him to prepare his defense and witnesses. Jansen has denied that there was collusion between attorney and witnesses.
“The victim cannot fathom that the State Attorney’s Office was not given the same opportunity,” the letter said. “The family was shocked to hear that Winston’s attorney was not only aware of the case but had been told by the Tallahassee Police Department that the case had been closed in February. All the while, the family was awaiting blood work results until early April.”
The letter says the woman never intended for the case to become public and has been trying to move on with her life “which has now been turned upside down once again.” The family said it has not been the source of any information about the case prior to its Wednesday state.
“There is no benefit in that,” the letter said.
The family of the woman who has identified Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston as the man who sexually battered her in December issued a statement Wednesday criticizing the Tallahassee Police Department for its handling of the case.
The statement says that on Dec. 7, 2012, the woman was raped by an unknown person. The woman immediately reported it to law enforcement and cooperated with all requests from officers, the letter says.
In early January, the woman identified Winston as the attacker, the letter says. The family became concerned that she “would be targeted on campus” and requested help from an attorney friend, the letter says. The attorney contacted TPD Detective Scott Angulo.
“When the attorney contacted Detective Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the attorney that Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable.”
The family provided the statement to the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday, and the Tallahassee Democrat obtained its own copy. The family’s name is not referenced in the letter. The Democrat does not identify victims of sexual assault.
|abb||Nov 21 2013, 04:22 AM Post #4|
Family statement: alleged victim warned about pursuing case against Jameis Winston
Posted by John Taylor on November 20, 2013, 1:07 PM EST
Tuesday, a report surfaced that the investigation of a sexual assault complaint made against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston last December stalled because the alleged victim stopped cooperating and did not wish to pursue charges.
Coincidentally or not, a statement was released a day later that suggests exterior forces played a role in that decision while at the same time decrying — and raising serious questions about — the manner in which the complaint was initially handled.
In a statement sent to the Tampa Bay Times and attributed to the alleged victim’s family, it was claimed that the accuser’s attorney was warned by a Tallahassee Police Detective that her client’s life “could be made miserable” if she pursued the complaint against Winston. The detective, the statement claimed, indicated that Tallahassee is “a big football town,” leaving the family to fear that the alleged victim could “be targeted on campus.”
The alleged victim, who was a Florida State student at the time of the alleged sexual assault, has since left school and reportedly moved, at least at one point, out of state.
Here is a portion of the statement, which can be viewed in its entirety HERE:
“When the attorney contacted Detective (Scott) Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the attorney that Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable.”
The family also claimed that the same detective “specifically refused to collect Winston’s DNA or interview Winston’s roommate who witnessed the (alleged) attack.” Detective Angulo’s reasoning for that course of action, the family stated, was that taking DNA “would alert Winston (to being a suspect) and the matter would go public.”
However, Winston became aware of the complaint at some point as he retained an attorney.
From the Times:
The family also questioned why Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, was told that the case had been closed in February without FSU police interviewing Winston or collecting DNA.
“The family was shocked to hear that Winston’s attorney was not only aware of the case but had been told by Tallahassee Police Department that the case had been closed in February,” the family said. “All the while, the family was awaiting blood work results until early April.”
Winston being made aware of the complaint, the family argued in their statement, allowed his counsel to “create his defense and prepare his witnesses” while at the same time denying that opportunity to the State Attorney’s office, which was forwarded the case last week and has since launched its own investigation. The state’s attorney, Willie Meggs, was critical of the TPD for the way it had handled the case and intimated that it hadn’t been properly investigated.
A determination on whether the evidence gathered shows probable cause and thus supports an arrest is not expected until this week at the earliest and possibly not until next week, Meggs said. It should again be noted that, if Winston were to be charged with what would be a felony, he would suspended from the football team by the university.
That suspension would last until the case was resolved.
Because of the open nature of the investigation, both Winston and FSU have declined to comment on the speculation and accusations that have been flying for the better part of a week.
|Quasimodo||Nov 21 2013, 09:00 AM Post #5|
This is what would have been expected had there been a rape by the lax team.
If DNA had been found, the claim would have been consensual sex.
Cheshire took the extraordinary step of declaring that there had been no sexual contact whatever--
ergo, he must have been extremely sure of what the DNA results would show.
THAT, alone, should have been a very strong indicator to those familiar with such cases
(like the talking heads, the network specialists, etc.) that the charges were false.
(So why did the case go on for so long, with so much media support?)
|chatham||Nov 21 2013, 09:23 AM Post #6|
||the case was not about a rape, other than selling newspapers. the case was about politics just like everything is about today.|
|abb||Nov 21 2013, 10:26 AM Post #7|
TPD Addresses Winston Rape Probe, Says Investigation Was 'Never Closed'
By Lynn Hatter
The Tallahassee Police Department is pushing back against allegations it has mishandled a rape investigation involving Florida State University Quarterback Jameis Winston.
The incident happened in December 2012, but is just now coming to light—raising concerns about the way the police department has handled the case.
Tallahassee Police Chief Tom Coe says despite media reports, the case involving FSU’s Winston was never closed. That contradicts statements made by Winston's attorney Tim Jansen, who says he was told otherwise.
Coe also pushed back against statements from the victim’s attorney, who says her client was told not to pursue the case by a TPD investigator because Tallahassee is a football town, and the victim’s life would be made miserable. Coe would not address those allegations directly, but gave a brief timeline of the department’s investigation:
“On December 7, 2012 the Tallahassee Police Department responded to a call by the Florida State University Police Department about an alleged sexual battery," he told reporters Wednesday night during an impromptu press conference. " In February 2013, the case was classified as ‘open, but inactive,’ and the victim in the case broke off contact with TPD, and her attorney indicated she did not want to move forward at that time.”
Coe's statement came around the time DNA evidence linking Winston to the case was leaked. However, that alone does not indicate a crime, and TPD officials say their investigation is ongoing. The case has caught national attention, as Winston is a front-runner for the Heisman award, and FSU is in contention for a shot at a national championship.
The case is now in the hands of the Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office.
According to CBSSports.com, "Assistant state attorney Georgia Cappleman said her 2nd Judicial Circuit office received a copy of the statement from the victim's family alleging Tallahassee Police dissuaded the victim's attorney from pursuing the case. The family's attorney notified the State Attorney of the family's plans to release the anonymous statement, which was first reported by the Tampa Bay Times."
|abb||Nov 21 2013, 10:27 AM Post #8|
|Baldo||Nov 21 2013, 03:47 PM Post #9|
Recent media reports compel our family to make a statement at this time.
We the victim and family have attempted to allow the State Attorney to address Tallahassee Police Department's questionable investigation into the rape of the victim.
We the victim and family have not responded to the barrage of media inquiries. We did not want to escalate a very difficult situation which we thought was behind us.
On 12/7/12 the victim was raped by an unknown person. The victim immediately reported it to law enforcement and cooperated completely with all requests made of her by law enforcement.
In early January, when the victim identified the perpetrator as Jameis Winston, the family grew concerned that she would be targeted on campus.
We requested assistance from an attorney friend to interact with law enforcement on the victim's behalf. When the attorney contacted Detective Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the attorney that Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable.
The attorney and Detective Angulo discussed suspending the investigation to give the victim some time to receive counseling. However, during that discussion, the attorney addressed the need for the family to obtain the DNA and blood work results to make a more informed decision. At that time, Detective Angulo specifically refused to collect Winston's DNA or interview Winston's roommate who witnessed the attack. Detective Angulo stated that such activity would alert Winston and the matter could go public.
Thereafter, the family, through counsel, repeatedly attempted to obtain the blood work results from both Detective Angulo and the Tallahassee Police Department's victim advocate, Fawnisha Brown. At all times, the victim, the family, and counsel were available to Tallahassee Police Department and were under the impression that only law enforcement was aware of the crime.
If the victim had been aware that Winston's attorney was alerted as far back as February, she would have insisted that Tallahassee Police Department immediately collect DNA and interview, at the very least, Winston's roommate who witnessed the attack.
The victim was devastated when she learned late last week that the Tallahassee Police Department had informed Winston's attorney as far back as February, which allowed him all of this time to create his defense and prepare his witnesses. The victim cannot fathom that the State Attorney's office was not given the same opportunity.
The family was shocked to hear that Winston's attorney was not only aware of the case but had been told by Tallahassee Police Department that the case had been closed in February. All the while, the family was awaiting blood work results until early April.
It was never the intent of the victim or the family for this to become public. The victim was trying to move on with her life which has now been turned upside down once again. We have not been the source of any information prior to this release; there was no benefit in that.
In light of the fact that this matter has now been made public, here are a few of the many questions the victim and the family have:
1. If Winston's attorney was aware of the case in February 2013, why didn't Detective Angulo collect DNA evidence, interview Winston, and conduct a proper investigation.
2. Why did it take Detective Angulo four months to verbally inform the family of the blood work results?
3. Why was Winston not listed as the suspect in the police report once he was identified in early January?
4. Why is it being represented in the press that the victim was intoxicated when Detective Angulo told the family that the victim was not intoxicated based on the blood work?
5. Why didn't Detective Angulo or his superiors inform the State Attorney of the crime before the media sought a copy of the police report 11 months after the crime?
6. Why was the Florida State University Police Department given a copy of the police report after it was determined they did not have jurisdiction, especially given the fact that Winston's attorney represents the Florida State University football team and they have a clear conflict of interest?
|kbp||Nov 21 2013, 04:14 PM Post #10|
We the victim and family...did not want to escalate a very difficult situation which we thought was behind us.
|abb||Nov 21 2013, 04:18 PM Post #11|
Attorney: Jameis Winston, complainant had consensual sex
Jennifer Portman and Jeff Burlew, Tallahassee Democrat 1:19 p.m. EST November 21, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Tim Jansen, a Tallahassee attorney representing Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in a sexual-assault complaint against him, said in a news conference Thursday morning that sex between his client and the complainant was consensual.
When asked whether the sex was consensual, Jansen replied, "absolutely."
Jansen added that he anticipated his client's DNA would match the DNA found on the complainant.
FAMILY STATEMENT: Detective warned accuser
"We are not surprised with the results of the DNA," he said. "We voluntarily submitted to a DNA, the only thing we are surprised by is it was leaked out by law enforcement," he said. "The question the people should ask is why is it being leaked? For what purpose?"
Jansen held the news conference in response to a report on ESPN.com that DNA taken from the complainant matched Winston's DNA. Winston submitted to a DNA swab a week ago on campus.
"I don't think it's a secret what the defense is when I tell you that we are not surprised his DNA was found. We anticipated it would be found. We never, ever said he wasn't there."
Jansen said he was outraged by the leak, and it harmed his client's reputation. He said the leak must have come from TPD, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or the State Attorney's Office.
FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey earlier Thursday confirmed his agency conducted the DNA-matching test — without detailing its findings — and forwarded those conclusions to TPD and State Attorney Willie Meggs' office.
Jansen continued to maintain that his client had done nothing wrong. He said Winston would be exonerated, in part because of the accounts of what he said were two eyewitnesses. Jansen said DNA was collected from one of those witnesses as well.
The family of the woman who filed the complaint issued a statement Wednesday identifying Winston as her assailant and criticizing the Tallahassee Police Department's handling of the investigation. The statement said a TPD detective working on the case warned the woman's attorney that she would be "raked over the coals" if she proceeded with the complaint.
TPD officials have said little about the case, citing the ongoing investigation.
Jennifer Portman and Jeff Burlew write for the Tallahassee Democrat.
|abb||Nov 21 2013, 04:23 PM Post #12|
Jameis Winston Isn't The Only Problem Here: An FSU Teacher's Lament
We love the game. We love the players, too, even when they scare us.
Like the blue-chip defensive secondary leader who wrote his personal essay for an openly gay professor on the time in high school he gleefully commanded a posse to bash a girly fag near to death, caved the queer's face, and ruined his smile.
Or the hulking offensive star who brought a friend to help him corner a short, pretty instructor alone in her closet office and scare her within an inch of her life for telling the athletic department he was clowning in class.
Or the top offensive player who sought tutoring from me on a plagiarized paper while tweaking on uppers. Or the standout lineman who never showed for my lectures or turned much in except for a term paper written in someone else's voice, then magically disappeared from the class roll when I resisted the team handlers who pressed me not to fail him.
These guys are all starters at Florida State University. They're probably going to play for the national title; they're almost certainly going to go high in the NFL draft. None of them is older than 22, and they already have longer Wikipedia entries than anyone on the FSU faculty.
My colleagues and I—writers and teachers of writing—are on that faculty. Most of us are Seminole fans as well as teachers. We've dashed off tributes to the game and the players—some conflicted, some not.
We love football, and we really love winning, and while we might be pseudo-intellectuals who idolize tweedy, critical theory-spouting professors, we hate it when they denigrate the game's presence on campus. We want to do right by these players. One of mine was from a sugarfield shantytown best known as the AIDS capital of the state. I hope he never goes back. "You're like, 'f*cking A, man, this is awesome,'" my co-worker Derek says of teaching big-name players. "You're part mentor and part fanboy." (The names of the FSU instructors in this story have been changed to protect their identities and the identities of their students.)
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But we're increasingly flummoxed by the football culture surrounding Tallahassee, one that's grown malignant with the wins and the scrutiny, like a traditional Islamic country turned radical and defensive, its craziest pilgrims whirling around Doak Campbell Stadium, the black cube at the center of their Mecca. It's a culture that tells these adolescents that their highest calling is to sacrifice their bodies in the grassy shrine, that all else is distraction. It's the same culture that's now undergoing paroxysms of wild paranoia to spin Benghazi- and Trayvon-style conspiracy theories that might explain these obviously baseless allegations against Jameis Winston, the teenager whose prophetic power can reduce old white men to joyful sobbing.
Before Jameis, there was the gay-basher. His teacher, Robert, was also one of Florida State's superstars, a professor in training with a pile of prestigious awards and grants. He is also gay, a fact that "any of my students are gonna figure out pretty quickly," he says. The defensive back took his required writing class a few summers back, and they met early in the course for a one-on-one conference to discuss an assigned essay exploring a significant personal moment in the students' lives.
"It was just me and him in my windowless office on the fourth floor of an empty campus building," Robert says. The player submitted his essay and went down the hall for a drink, while Robert read it and promptly "freaked out."
The paper was "a very graphic, very detailed, very proud telling of how he basically got his high school classmates together to beat the shit out of this 'fag'"—a word used often in the work—"and literally kick him in the teeth to teach him a lesson." They were sick of their mark "acting like a girl," Robert recalls, and so they went about punching him in the face, emptying his gumline. The tone of the player's essay was that "he was very proud of himself. He had taken the initiative to organize this beating."
Robert panicked. The essay's victim "talked sexually, had tight clothes, and had feminine features—some of which could be certainly be said of me," he says. "Why would he give that to me? I took it in the moment as a personal threat."
When the player returned, Robert faked getting an important text and begged out of the conference, then ran down to a mentor's office to report the paper. The situation was handled well, he said: He never had to see that student again. Still, he had no clue as to the player's motives—or his rehabilitation. "Who knows if he learned anything?" Robert says. "It would be nice if a coach or someone from the Athletic Academic Advising Program said something to him."
The d-back still had to pass his writing requirement, and so the following fall he was placed in a class with Derek, an avid fan and alpha male type who's taught seven or so football players and developed a reputation as a sort of jock whisperer. But although he knew why the student was there, Derek never found a way to bring up the student's homophobic story. Was he performing at fag-hating for the benefit of his ultra-macho brethren, or was he really a violent basher? Could he be a good kid, all things considered except for the hate crimes?
"I know he didn't think that shit was wrong," Derek said, with compassion. Halfway through the semester, the young instructor had questions—for his supervisor, for the coaches. "Did they even tell this kid that what he did was wrong? And if they did, what did they tell him was the wrong part: beating a gay kid near to death, or thinking it was OK to beat a gay kid, or thinking it was OK to write one of us an essay about beating a gay kid?" But Derek never asked them aloud.
The kid muddled through the course, giving Derek little trouble. That January, he helped FSU come back to stuff Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Team superstars get special assistance from the Athletic Academic Advising Program, usually in the form of two clipboard-wielding dudes in garnet-and-gold warmups who pour into the classrooms during our lectures to see whether the players are present. Handlers, they're called. "Like for animals at the zoo," Derek says. "Or like the f*cking sellers at the markets. Let's call it what it is."
The handlers' only real job is to keep the players eligible to play, whatever it takes. That includes begging, browbeating, suborning intimidation, and, we all have suspected, writing assignments for the athletes. That's what happened to another instructor, Lacy, when she informed an athletic academic advisor that she had some problem players, including a star receiver, who were turning work in late, cutting corners, submitting seemingly plagiarized work, and pulling childish stunts in her classroom like flipping the lights on and off.
Jameis Winston Isn't The Only Problem Here: An FSU Teacher's LamentExpand
The advisor's response was to get on the players' cases ... and to show them her email, Lacy says. So that was why they were now in deep shit. Two of the athletes, clad in team warmups, stormed into her office unannounced and cornered her, yelling at the small, genteel Southerner as she sat between them, her backed pushed up onto her desk. "They're both just towering over me and arguing with me. They were puffing their chests and pacing quickly, leaning in on me," she says. They told her, "I thought you were cool." They called her a liar.
"It just felt very, very aggressive," she said. "I was very uncomfortable."
She told them firmly to leave her alone and got them to exit without incident, assisted by another instructor nearby. In relating the confrontation to a mentor the next day, "I got kind of upset," she says. "I was tearing up a little bit, which surprised me at the time."
Her mentor was upset, too, and took it up with the team's academic handlers. But nothing ever came of it. This was late in the semester, and she didn't want the players coming back to her office, so she decided not to get on the handlers' bad side. "I was very reticent to fail a football player, because I didn't want to be harassed," she says. "I shouldn't have, but I probably graded them much more easily than the other students."
By all accounts, that star receiver has matured greatly since his run-in with Lacey. Still, when she sees close-ups of him on television, she gets anxious. "I can't help but feel he's a little bit of a punk."
I've had dealings with the handlers. My biggest issue was with a gentle giant of a lineman who was new to college, and to reading, and had trouble making it to the morning class. On the few occasions he made it to class (late) and didn't fall dead asleep, his earnest writing, both in style and structure, was that of an elementary school student. He never turned a paper in on time, but when I contacted the handlers to warn them of his status, a pile of final drafts would suddenly materialize, full of fairly complex, organized thoughts and diction—thoughts that hadn't made it into earlier drafts I'd seen. I was bombarded with regular long emails from handlers explaining how I should arrange extra meetings with the player and extend deadlines for him. But he couldn't overcome his absences, and when I informed them through a mentor that he wouldn't pass and it was too late to drop the class, I was asked if I could give him an "incomplete," even though he didn't qualify for one. I said no.
This was a problem: My lineman was already on academic probation for poor performance in his first semester. Should I flunk him, he would lose his eligibility. At the end of the term, when I went online to enter my students' grades, his name didn't appear on the roster. He had been administratively disappeared from the rolls—a medical withdrawal, I heard, though I wondered what malady rendered him unable to attend class but capable of playing 40 or 50 snaps every Saturday.
Sometimes, it was the handlers' non-responsiveness that disturbed me. Like when a lumbering receiver appeared at my open tutoring hours to receive help with his paper, a series of rough ramblings connecting entire lifted passages from a marketing textbook, several Wikipedia pages, and an online biography of Nancy Reagan.
A few minutes into my explanation of why plagiarism wasn't kosher, the receiver's attention seemed elsewhere. He asked if there was a bathroom nearby; he excused himself. He returned about five minutes later, and his demeanor had changed considerably. His legs were quivering, his arms shuddered, and though it was clear he was making an effort, he couldn't focus on my laptop and the work we'd started. "Hot in here," he complained, sweating and stripping off his warm-up top in the middle of a cool basement space where my fellow tutors and I were still wearing winter coats. With 15 minutes left in our session, he rose suddenly, anxious to go to the library and finish the paper, he said.
Through a supervisor, I contacted the academic handlers about the receiver, but never heard a response. This was early last December, less than a week before the police began investigating a sexual assault that allegedly involved Jameis Winston.
If I kept a schedule like these kids do, I'd probably consider popping a lot of greenies. I don't know what they do over there across campus, in a gleaming behemoth of a new training facility, bankrolled by the booster club that's now developing a series of strip malls and condos and drinkeries for alumni on the once-artsy industrial flatlands outside the football stadium. ("Collegetown," they're calling it.) Whatever our players do takes up so much physical and psychic energy that it's amazing they don't ever kill anyone, much less that they make it to class. But most of them are fine. There are dozens of successful, placid ones on the roster every year.
One of Derek's better-adjusted athletes said it wasn't the practices or the physical abuse that bothered him, but how the coaches force-fed him and his teammates. "They watch me clean the plate," the player told Derek. "'You let that settle and then go lift.'" That's in addition to the supervised supplement-swallowing, the pills and powders of who the hell knows what. "He looks down at me, this monster man, this beast, and now he's got kid eyes," Derek tells me, "and he says to me: 'Mister Derek, sometimes I'm not hungry anymore.'"
That wounded Seminole is now a successful NFL player.
We don't know what our role is in these players' lives. Do they even need our classes? Do they need to be cultural critics, or cogent writers? "You're gonna get 3,600 calories shoveled in you and then you're going to lift and run and hit each other. And then I'm gonna ask you to write an eight-page paper on Q-Tip ads?" Derek marvels. "That's a lot that they're leaving up to an underpaid staff to get these kids to do."
As writers and academic thinkers, we understand that sometimes a narrative works the nerves in such a satisfying way that it becomes stronger than a nuanced truth. It becomes what we tell ourselves about ourselves to make sense of things. In Tallahassee, the narrative is that football is salvation, and Jameis is its prophet. He brought back winning, more than we're used to. He brought back swagger, but not too much. He did it all with an insane arm and a smile and a laugh and he's just such a nice young man. (That's a compliment to a black quarterback that's more than a little loaded in a town whose racist taunts ran FSU's first black player off the field and into mental torment, which he ended by firing a revolver into his own stomach, here, in 1972.)
The current allegations against Winston, even if they're ultimately dropped, threaten our pure victory narrative. But most of Tallahassee, even the local sports reporters, cannot accept that the narrative is overly simple, and that failure is always an option, whether it's a physical failure in the fourth quarter, or a moral one in a strange bedroom after last call on Tennessee Street. Most vocal Noles fans find it easier to bandy about numerous conspiracy theories to explain the news. It's the timing of this thing going public—some Manziel or McCarron fan dropping a bomb before Heisman voting, before BCS selection. Maybe even a (voice drops to a whisper) Gators fan. It's the height discrepancy in the police report—and that chick doesn't know what the hell went on, probably because she was drinking. It's some lying jealous gold-digger. It's racism. It's a state attorney who is grandstanding or maybe corrupt or maybe just has a hard-on for unfairly persecuting football players for rape, except for the ones that were actually guilty or look pretty bad.
Reports: Jameis Winston Under Investigation For Alleged Sexual Battery
Below is a Tallahassee Police Department incident report describing an incident at an apartment in the early hours of Dec. 7, 2012. A woman accused a … Read…
How The Sexual Battery Investigation Of Jameis Winston Became A Story
Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times was the first reporter to contact the Tallahassee Police Department to inquire about case No. 12-32758. He was… Read…
Even to casual fans who've never darkened the doors of the institutions whose colors they wear on Saturdays, none of this probably shocks. Maybe they assume every Division I program is a stable of high-toned, ego-motored, big-balled thoroughbreds, surrounded by pushy handlers who are perversely protective and laissez-faire at the same time. And maybe that makes the conspiracy theories easier to form. If the academics can be arranged so that players stay eligible, it's a rather small leap, in the mind of a certain kind of college football fan, to the notion that strings get pulled and palms get greased by rivals trying to derail a season. The fix is in. It's long been a part of the football fan's narrative, anyway—the other guys are dirty dirty dirty that's the only way they could possibly beat us.
But like the on-field play, the excesses of student athletics look different when you teach in these schools: faster, more dangerous. It's the kind of difference that makes us, in our student lounges and off-campus drinkeries, say, yeah, Jameis Winston is great, gifted, a wonderful kid—but yeah, he could have assaulted that girl. Any of them could have.
Maybe that's unfair, but it's hard not to feel that way when you've seen the culture up close. We're a part of that culture, too. We love the game and the school; we may love the players. But we've seen what they get away with, and we know the fix is in.
Adam Weinstein writes for Gawker, scribbles about football on the side, and mumbles about the Phillies and Eagles to his TV. Photos via Getty.
|abb||Nov 21 2013, 04:40 PM Post #13|
Thursday, November 21, 2013
A Jameis Winston Timeline: What We Know So Far
By Patricia Lee
On Wednesday, new information regarding the sexual assault case against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston came to light. Here's what we know about the situation so far.
Who is Jameis Winston?
Winston is a 6-foot-4, 228-pound redshirt freshman quarterback from Bessemer, Alabama, who plays for the Florida State Seminoles. He was the no. 1 high school quarterback prospect in the class of 2012 and was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 15th round of that year's MLB amateur draft (he was a relief pitcher/outfielder for the FSU baseball team for the 2013 season). Additional accolades: USA Today 2011 All-USA First-Team All-American, Sports Illustrated Second-Team All-American, 2011 Alabama Gatorade State Player of the Year. Why is Winston important in college football?
He has led the Seminoles to a so-far undefeated season (10-0, 8-0 ACC) with a likely chance of playing in the BCS National Championship. FSU is ranked no. 2 in the polls and is also in second place in the BCS standings (trailing Alabama, which is also undefeated). He boasts a 70.9 percent completion rate (185-for-261) and has amassed 2,938 receiving yards, 145 rushing yards, and 31 touchdowns (28 passing, three rushing). He's 14th in passing yards among FBS quarterbacks and is a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. What do we know about the sexual assault case tied to Winston?
December 7, 2012 — A Florida State student from the Tampa Bay area reported that a sexual assault had occurred at an off-campus apartment. Police investigated the incident, took witness testimony, and collected evidence, including assembling a sexual-assault kit. The case was assigned to the Tallahassee Police Department's Special Victims Unit.
January 2013 — According to the Tampa Tribune, the woman's Dade City attorney, Patricia Carroll, contacted Tallahassee police Detective Scott Angulo after the woman's family "grew concerned that she would be targeted on campus."
February 2013 — Tim Jansen, Winston's attorney, said police approached him in February but said soon after that the case was no longer being investigated.
Tallahassee's interim police chief, Tom Coe, said the accuser stopped cooperating with police at around the same time: "In February 2013, the case was classified as open but inactive, when the victim in the case broke off contact with TPD, and her attorney indicated she did not want to move forward at that time."
November 12, 2013 — Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors Thompson emailed city commissioners to provide an update regarding the case "against FSU football player Jameis Winston" by the woman, who said she was sexually assaulted while intoxicated at a local bar. The email stated that the Tallahassee Police Department began interviewing witnesses and compiling details but the investigation stalled when it stopped receiving responses from the woman. "Shortly thereafter a representative of the young woman's family who is an attorney contacted TPD and said the young woman had changed her mind and did not wish to prosecute."
Favors Thompson also alerted the FSU president, FSU police chief, and Carroll.
November 12, 2013 — In a letter to Tallahassee Police Department's Sgt. Joanna Baldwin, Carroll said she understood that the police department was planning to release information about the case in response to media requests. She cited Florida's Rape Shield Law and requested that no information about her client or "her rape" be released to the press. She also requested a full copy of the police report and copies of medical and blood toxicology screening records.
November 12, 2013 — According to Coe, the Tallahassee Police Department turned over the incident report to State Attorney Willie Meggs's office after Tampa Bay Times and TMZ reporters requested it.
November 13, 2013 — The police report was released to the Tallahassee Democrat in the afternoon and then to other media outlets the same day Meggs began reviewing the incident. The incident occurred on December 7, 2012, around 2 a.m., and was reported to Tallahassee police about two hours later. Though the suspect was listed at between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11 and Winston is 6-foot-4, the woman identified him as a suspect in early January.
Winston's attorney said no charges were filed and Winston was never interviewed by the police. "We've been cooperating with them and we've supplied them with witness affidavits."
November 13, 2013 — Meggs reviewed the case and determined that more police work had to be done before the case could be closed. TPD changed the case's classification from open-inactive to open-active, which rendered future details of the investigation off-limits to the public.
Meggs's decision was significant because if authorities charge Winston with a felony, he would be suspended immediately and rendered ineligible for competition by the Florida State athletic department.
November 20, 2013 — The woman's family released a statement saying that after the initial report was taken, they wanted DNA and blood work done, but Angulo "specifically refused to collect Winston's DNA or interview Winston's roommate who witnessed the attack. Detective Angulo stated that such activity would alert Winston and the matter could go public."
The statement also said that "Detective Angulo told the [woman's] attorney that Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable."
It concluded with a list of questions "in light of the fact that this matter has now been made public":
• "If Winston's attorney was aware of the case in February (2012), why didn't Detective Angulo collect DNA evidence, interview Winston and conduct a proper investigation?"
• "Why did it take Detective Angulo four months to verbally inform the family of the blood work results?"
• "Why was Winston not listed as the suspect in the police report once he was identified in early January?"
• "Why is it being represented in the press that the victim was intoxicated when Detective Angulo told the family that the victim was not intoxicated based on the blood work?"
• "Why didn't Detective Angulo or his superiors inform the State Attorney of the crime before the media sought a copy of the police report 11 months after the crime?"
• "Why was the Florida State University Police Department given a copy of the police report after it was determined they did not have jurisdiction, especially given the fact that Winston’s attorney represents the Florida State University football team and they have a clear conflict of interest?"
November 20, 2013 — ESPN.com reported that DNA analysis by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Tuesday shows a match between a sample provided by Winston and DNA taken from the accuser's underwear. The crime lab determined that the chance of the match being somebody other than Winston was "one in 2.2 trillion."
November 20, 2013 — The Tampa Bay Times reported that a public records request yielded no search warrants under Winston's name or warrants related to sex crimes under Winston's reported address. Additionally, no search warrants in relation to the case have been filed since November 11, though there is no way of knowing if confidential warrants have been carried out.
November 21, 2013 — In response to the ESPN.com report, Jansen, Winston's attorney, held a press conference in the morning. He said he had not seen results from the analysis and expressed concern about information being leaked to the media from the police department. Jansen confirmed that Winston had submitted a DNA swab last Thursday and said he was not surprised at the results from the ESPN.com report, answering "absolutely" when asked if sex between the woman and Winston had been consensual.
|Baldo||Nov 21 2013, 05:03 PM Post #14|
It is difficult to make any judgement, but at least we know the accuser called the police to file a complaint & they did take a rape kit. It appears there are witnesses.
Whether a crime was committed we don't know, but it looks like the PD were dragging their feet.
|abb||Nov 21 2013, 05:07 PM Post #15|
Somebody's lying, that's for sure. Either it happened, or it's a false accusation. We'll see.
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