Florida State QB Jameis Winston will not be charged in rape case
Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston responds to questions at a press conference on Dec. 4, 2013. (Photo: CNN)
LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Almost a year after a Florida State University student first accused quarterback Jameis Winston of rape, the state attorney for Lee County, Florida, announced on Thursday that his office won’t be pursuing any charges against the college athlete.
Asked why no charges would be filed, State Attorney Willie Meggs said, “We have a duty as prosecutors to only file … charges if we have a reasonable likelihood of a conviction.”
He added: “We did not feel we could meet that burden.”
The woman said Winston, quarterback of the Florida Seminoles football team, raped her in December. According to police documents, the woman told investigators she was drinking with friends at a bar called Potbellys. They later left her after consuming several shots, according to the documents.
She said she does not remember much of what happened next, but told investigators she remembered winding up in a ground-floor apartment where a man took off her clothes and had sex with her despite her objections.
The woman came forward a month later to accuse Winston, but Tallahassee’s interim police Chief, Tom Coe, said last week that she “broke off contact” with investigators in February and at the time no longer wanted to go forward with the case.
The woman’s family has said that a detective had warned her attorney that Tallahassee is a “big football town” and that her life could be miserable if she pursued the case.
The case resurfaced after media outlets made public records requests for the initial complaint.
Last month, Winston’s attorney announced his client and the woman had consensual sex. The woman’s family shot back saying, “To be clear, the victim did not consent. This was rape.”
The accusations against Winston came shortly after the Florida State Seminoles football program began to emerge as one of the top-ranked teams in the country this season, and shortly after Winston emerged as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top college football player.
As of Thursday, the Seminoles were the No.1-ranked team in the NCAA, and Winston was generally considered the leading candidate to win the Heisman Trophy.
CNN contributed to this report