No charges in FSU quarterback investigation - WFLA News Channel 8

No charges in FSU quarterback investigation

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A Florida State Attorney announced Thursday that charges will not be filed against Florida State University's Heisman Trophy contender Jameis Winston.

A former FSU student told Tallahassee Police that she was raped by the 19-year-old. Winston's attorney suggested that the FSU quarterback had consensual sex with the accuser.

Related content: What goes into the decision to prosecute sexual battery cases?

Patricia Carroll, a Bay area attorney representing the woman, issued the following statement:  "The victim and her family appreciate the State Attorney's efforts in attempting to conduct a proper investigation after an inordinate delay by the Tallahassee Police Department.
The victim in this case had the courage to immediately report her rape to the police and she relied upon them to seek justice.
The victim has grave concerns that her experience, as it unfolded in the public eye and through social media, will discourage other victims of rape from coming forward and reporting."

Winston's attorney passed out a written statement to reporters after his afternoon press conference that read:  "I want to thank my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for standing by me during a difficult time.  I also want to thank the State Attorney's Office for examining all the facts and reaching a decision in a conclusive manner.  It's been difficult to stay silent through this process, but I never lost faith in the truth and who I am.  I'm very relieved I'll be able to continue my education at Florida State and I'm excited I can now get back to helping our team achieve its goals.

Former prosecutor and Bay Area criminal defense attorney Bryant Camareno says the 11-month delay for the state attorney to make a decision in this case, is unacceptable.

"I used to prosecute for 10 years and in my 10 years I've never seen a delay. Once law enforcement gets it, within a day or two, they refer over the State Attorney's Office. They bring in the victim. They put em under oath and they make a filing decision within maybe a month," said Camareno.

The State Attorney's decision not to prosecute could have a big impact on Saturday's FSU game and Winston's chances of being honored with a Heisman Trophy.

Winston has led FSU to a No. 1 BCS ranking. The team plays Duke Saturday and could be one-step closer to a possible national championship if they win.

Related: Prosecutor: Sex investigation of FSU QB is over

Winston could have been prevented from playing in the game if a felony charge was filed against him. That’s because Florida State policy says a student-athlete must be suspended from a game if charged with a felony, until the charge is resolved "absent extraordinary circumstances as determined by the administration."

The Associated Press reports that many Heisman Trophy voters have been waiting to see if Winston will be charged with a crime before casting their ballots. The deadline for ballots to be submitted is Dec. 9.

Related content: Heisman trophy contenders

This article includes information from the Associated Press.

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