TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Coach Jimbo Fisher said Florida State’s Jameis Winston has committed no crime and is adamant the quarterback will not miss any games this season due to an ongoing sexual assault investigation.
Fisher said Monday recent reports about the investigation haven’t revealed any new facts.
“This country is based off being innocent until proven guilty, not guilty till you’re proven innocent,” Fisher said. “There is no victim because there was no crime. We’re convicting a guy over things that are not true, based on evidence.
“There’s facts of the case and what the reports are. Public opinion wants to do what they do. They don’t get what they want. … We believe in him, 100 percent.”
Florida State announced last week it will use an independent official in the student code of conduct hearing. A female student said Winston sexually assaulted her in December 2012. Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs declined to press charges against Winston last December due to inconsistencies and flaws in the evidence.
While no date has been set for the university hearing, a person close to the situation said that Florida State has notified Winston that a formal hearing will be held to determine if four sections of the code of conduct were violated, two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no details of the hearing have been publicly released.
The two sexual misconduct violations the person said Winston faces are:
- Any sexual act that occurs without the consent of the victim, or that occurs when the victim is unable to give consent.
- Conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person. This includes unwanted, unwelcome, inappropriate, or irrelevant sexual or gender-based behaviors, actions or comments.
The two endangerment violations the person said Winston faces are:
- Physical violence towards another person or group.
- Action(s) that endanger the health, safety, or well-being of another person or group.
Florida State said in its release last week that the athletics department decided not to file a report with the university’s Title IX administrator after Winston’s lawyer said the Tallahassee Police Department was “no longer pursuing the case” and Winston and his roommates said the sex was consensual.
The AP does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.
David Cornwell, advisor for the Winston family, did not return messages seeking comment on Monday.
The university also said in its release that the only people aware of the incident before January 2013 were Tallahassee police, campus police and the Victims Advocate Program. The program is not required to share information with school officials as a way to help victims. Florida State said its Title IX officials didn’t become aware of the incident until November 2013, when contacted by the Tallahassee Police Department.
The university said the woman was not made available for an interview with the school until Aug. 6, 2014. The woman’s lawyers have maintained that she was willing to talk throughout the process.
Fisher said he wasn’t concerned with the dates of details of the hearing.
“Get it, and get it over with,” Fisher said.
The coach warned against the public jumping to conclusions about the ongoing investigation.
“I think what we’ve got be very careful in today’s society to convict people in public before their actual due in court or anywhere else,” Fisher said. “That’s happened in recent history and we saw we made a huge mistake and ruined a lot of lives.
“So I think we need to be more responsible in our reporting, opinions and based off facts and not write articles that are half true and not all the way true.”
Fisher credited Winston for being able to focus and excel on the football field despite the allegations.
“He can put things away like a man does, compartmentalize things, take care of his teammates, take care of his family and take care of everyone because he’s very mature,” Fisher said. “And the reason he can do that is he knows the facts.”
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