The fallout from rape allegations against Jameis Winston (pictured, right) that became public late last year — and the circus his life has become since — continues unabated, with a university disciplinary hearing serving as the latest potential ring for the three-ring, Heisman-winning quarterback.
An attorney for the woman who alleged Winston raped her in December of 2012, John Clune, confirmed to FOXSports.com Monday that Winston is expected to be in attendance at an FSU code of conduct hearing involving a pair of teammates, defensive end Chris Casher and defensive back Ronald Darby (pictured, center), Tuesday morning. Not only will Winston likely be in attendance, but he is expected to be called to testify.
“We’ve been told by the university that he’s going to be called as a witness,” Clune told the website. “We expect him to be called.”
Both Casher and Darby, Winston’s roommates, had previously given sworn affidavits that they had witnessed Winston having sex with the accuser, but swore under oath that they believed the encounter to be consensual. Casher also admitted that he had used a cell phone to tape a portion of the sexual encounter but later deleted it.
Both Casher and Darby — the former expected to be part of the Seminoles’ defensive line rotation in 2014, the latter a starter in FSU’s secondary — could be expelled from FSU for violating the school’s code of conduct, pending the outcome of the hearing. The pair is officially charged with conduct of sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person as well as acts that invade the privacy of another person. In addition, Casher faces a charge for the videotaping.
In early December of last year, following a three-week investigation, the Florida State’s Attorney office announced that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the sexual encounter between Winston and the alleged victim was not consensual, and that no charges would be filed against the player. The state’s attorney in charge of that investigation, William Meggs, was highly critical of the Tallahassee Police Department’s investigation into the alleged rape in a New York Times report, a report in which the university subsequently expressed its disappointment.
Earlier this month it was reported that the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights had launched its own investigation into FSU’s handling of the case. Another attorney for Winston’s accuser blasted the university in April for a Title IX investigation — a requirement under federal law when sexual assault is alleged — that was halted because Winston refused to cooperate.
While Winston did not face criminal charges in connection to the incident, the alleged victim is expected to pursue civil action against him as well as, potentially, FSU and the TPD.
Additionally, as FOXSports.com wrote, “Tuesday’s hearing also could have implications for Winston in relation to the federal probe.
If federal investigators conclude that Florida State administrators did not conduct a proper probe, they will work with school officials to make sure one is conducted. Though Winston would not face criminal charges because Florida prosecutors have already said there was not enough evidence to charge him, it’s possible he could still face discipline from the university, including expulsion.
Winston is coming off a suspension from the FSU baseball team after he received a misdemeanor citation for shoplifting nearly $33 in seafood from a grocery store. The redshirt sophomore acknowledged in a subsequent apology that he was “in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach,” while head coach Jimbo Fisher stated that Winston has to be responsible for his own actions.