TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (AP) - The woman who accused Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual assault says she worries her experience and how the case unfolded in the public eye will discourage rape victims from coming forward.
The victim and her family released a brief statement Thursday after State Attorney Willie Meggs told reporters he did not have enough evidence to charge Winston. Meggs says the woman’s memory lapses about the events of last December were problematic.
The family said it appreciated the state attorney’s investigation after what they called an “inordinate delay” by the Tallahassee Police Department. The family has been sharply critical of the police department, accusing the agency of discouraging the woman to proceed with the case against the quarterback.
The department has said it handled the case appropriately.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston will not be charged with sexually assaulting a woman who accused him of raping her about a year ago, a prosecutor said Thursday.
State Attorney Willie Meggs made the announcement at a news conference, saying there was not enough evidence to win a conviction.
“After reviewing all the evidence in the case, we did not feel like we could meet that burden,” Meggs said.
A search warrant from January, released hours before the news conference, detailed the woman’s accusations for the first time. She told police she and friends had five to six shots at a bar and her “memory is very broken from that point forward.” She said she remembered being in a cab with a “non-descript” black man and going into an apartment where she was raped.
The woman didn’t identify Winston, who is black, until about a month after the alleged assault.
Winston, 19, has led the Seminoles to a No. 1 ranking and a shot at a national championship if they defeat Duke on Saturday.
Many Heisman voters were waiting to see whether Winston will be charged with a crime before casting their ballots. The deadline for ballots is Monday, and the trophy is awarded Dec. 14.
The details of the alleged rape were contained in a search warrant for cellphone records, including text messages. It was dated Jan. 16, six days after the woman identified Winston.
The warrant said she tried to fight the man off, and at some point, another man came into the room and told him to stop. But the two went into a bathroom “where he completed the act.”
Her next memory was of the suspect dressing her, putting her on a scooter and dropping her off at a campus intersection. She said she had no idea where the alleged assault took place.