Jameis Winston, the Florida State University quarterback accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student in 2012, has been cleared of charges that he violated FSU's student conduct code. A lawyer for the woman who accused him of assault told reporters in a statement yesterday, "At some point we have to recognize that Florida State is never going to hold Winston responsible."
The woman, a fellow student, accused Winston of raping her at his apartment. He has said the sex was consensual. The state of Florida opted not to criminally charge Winston last year, with prosecutors citing a lack of evidence. (A New York Times investigation found there was "virtually no investigation at all" from either the police or FSU.) Winston then faced a two-day school conduct hearing earlier this month, where the school examined whether he'd violated the student conduct code's prohibitions against sexual misconduct and "endangerment."
Winston read a statement at the hearing maintaining that he was the real victim here, telling the board, "Rape is a vicious crime. The only thing as vicious as rape is falsely accusing someone of rape." He faced anything from a reprimand to outright expulsion, but the school opted for "none of the above," with Major Harding, the retired State Supreme Court Justice who heads the board, telling him in a letter that the evidence was "insufficient to satisfy the burden of proof," according to the Associated Press.
Baine Kerr, a lawyer for Winston's accuser, told reporters they would consider appealing the ruling, "but right now we feel a little duped." He added, "Somehow Jameis Winston still wins," Kerr said. "The order doesn't even follow the Student Conduct Code and it ignores the bulk of the evidence."
Image via AP