Jameis Winston, the quarterback for No. 1-ranked Florida State, will not be charged with any crimes following a year-long police investigation into an alleged sexual assault. Florida state attorney Willie Meggs announced in a press conference today that no criminal charges will be filed against anyone. "We have carefully examined the evidence in this case and have concluded no charges will be filed in this case," he said. ESPN first reported the no charge decision.
Winston, who is also the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, faced a potential felony charge after accusations of rape by a Tallahassee woman stemming from last December. According to the search warrant obtained by Fox Sports, the woman took five-to-six shots of alcohol before feeling inebriated, and was taken back to her apartment, where she alleged the rape occurred. The woman called police to report the alleged rape within an hour, but did not identify Winston as the attacker until five weeks later.
The investigation remained silent until just a few weeks ago, when the state attorney took up the case after media requests from TMZ. According to ESPN, evidence found on the woman's underpants matched Winston's DNA. His attorney alleges that the sex was consensual.
The case loomed large over Florida State's undefeated season, as college athletes facing felony charges are not allowed to play in Florida. And as with the football-sexual assault scandal of Steubenville, the conversation quickly turned to the effect on the accused, rather than the accuser. Sports Illustrated's Andy Glockner was wary of the media coverage focusing on the football impact.
I'm a touch uncomfortable with the inevitable "Now that he's not being charged with sexual assault, how well will Jameis play on Sat" angle— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) December 5, 2013
Seemingly on cue, ESPN fulfilled those warnings.
On SportsCenter right now. "For the football analysis of this story, we now turn to Paul Finebaum." This is really happening.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 5, 2013
If the Seminoles win the ACC Championship Game on Saturday, they are guaranteed a spot in the BCS Championship game in January and Winston will be all but assured the Heisman honor. Unfortunately, that's a sideline to this story that can't be ignored, but could probably be addressed with a little more tact than this:
well that tweet was deleted but here it is forever pic.twitter.com/7hNJsfEGHC— Bill Hanstockings (@sundownmotel) December 5, 2013