Jameis Winston‘s student code of conduct hearing into the alleged rape of a former Florida State student concluded Wednesday without the quarterback taking questions from the individual presiding over the proceedings, former Florida Supreme Court justice Major Harding. Winston did, though, speak during the course of what was a 12-plus-hour hearing spread over two days.
Multiple media outlets obtained a copy of the five-page statement Winston read during the hearing. In the statement, and as his lawyer, David Cornwell, has done for him in the past, the redshirt sophomore denied the accuser’s accusations that he raped her in December of 2012 after the two met at a bar called Potbelly’s and went back to his apartment.
“I did not rape or sexually assault [the accuser],” Winston said in a portion of the statement provided to ESPN.com. “I did not create a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment in the short period of time that we were together. [The accuser] had the capacity to consent to having sex with me and she repeatedly did so by her conduct and her verbal expressions. I never used physical violence, threats, or other coercive means towards [the accuser]. Finally, I never endangered [the accuser’s] health, safety, or well-being. …
“Rape is a vicious crime. The only thing as vicious as rape is falsely accusing someone of rape. [The accuser] and her lawyers have falsely accused me, threatened to sue me, demanded $7,000,000 from me, engaged in a destructive media campaign against me, and manipulated this process to the point that my rights have and will continue to be severely compromised. [The accuser’s] and her lawyers’ public campaign to vilify me guarantees that her false allegations will follow me for the rest of my life.”
Winston also addressed why he didn’t answer any questions at the hearing.
“At some point they will be held accountable, so I have determined that it is in my best interests to exercise my right pursuant to Rule 6C2R-3.004 (6)(d)of the Florida State University Student Code of Conduct and answer questions when experienced lawyers and other experts can assist me in confronting [the accuser’s] false accusation and when [the accuser] is subject to the penalty of perjury and other claims for [the accuser] falsely accusing me of rape.”
Winston claimed that, at the bar, he asked the woman for her phone number, which she herself punched into his cell phone. A short time later, following a text message from Winston to the accuser, she voluntarily left with Winston and two of his teammates, Chris Casher and Ron Darby, in a cab and went back to Winston’s apartment. There, Winston said, the two engaged in what he described as consensual sex.
“[The accuser’s] conduct and other verbal expressions left no doubt that our sex was consensual,” Winston said in the statement, which also noted that, at one point, Casher had entered the room during the encounter. It was Casher who would later acknowledge that he had videotaped the two having sex and subsequently deleted it.
“Other than asking Chris to leave the room, [the accuser] did not say or do anything to express or indicate that she was upset about anything that occurred before, during, or after consensual sexual activities,” Winston said. “From the time I met [the accuser] at Potbelly’s to the time that I dropped her off at her dormitory, [the accuser] was fully aware of her surroundings and in control of all of her faculties.
“She was responsive and communicative. She had a pleasant personality and was fun to be with. During our consensual sexual interactions, [the accuser] engaged in sexual talk and took other actions that made it clear that the sex was consensual and that she was enjoying having sex with me. If [the accuser] did not want to have oral sex or intercourse with me, she was fully capable of expressing it to me, the taxicab drivers, the numerous students outside of Potbelly’s, Chris, and/or Ron. Had she done so, I would have stopped immediately.”
The attorney for the accuser who was present at the hearing dismissed Winston’s statement.
“This was not testimony but just something obviously written by his lawyer,” John Clune said after the proceedings. “We want him to be found responsible and we want him to be expelled from the school.”
Harding has given both attorneys five days to file legal briefs. The former judge, per school policy, will then have up to 10 class days to render his decision.
Winston will quarterback the Seminoles in the ACC Championship game Saturday against Georgia Tech Saturday in Charlotte.