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.