Win­ston saga turns to crit­i­cism of po­lice

The Washington Times Daily - - Sports - BY GARY FINEOUT

TAL­LA­HAS­SEE, FLA. | The fam­ily and at­tor­ney of the al­leged vic­tim in a sex­ual as­sault in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volv­ing Florida State quar­ter­back Jameis Win­ston on Wed­nes­day sharply crit­i­cized Tal­la­has­see po­lice in their first pub­lic com­ments about the case.

The lengthy fam­ily state­ment said their at­tor­ney, Pa­tri­cia Car­roll, was warned by po­lice that Tal­la­has­see was a “big foot­ball town and the vic­tim needs to think long and hard be­fore pro­ceed­ing against him be­cause she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made mis­er­able.”

The state­ment which was first pro­vided to the Tampa Bay Times, also said the woman “can­not fathom” why lo­cal pros­e­cu­tors were not told about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volv­ing Win­ston un­til last week.

A spokesman for Tal­la­has­see po­lice did not re­spond to re­peated re­quests for com­ment.

Win­ston was a top fresh­man re­cruit and backup quar­ter­back at the time of the al­leged De­cem­ber 2012 as­sault, but is now a Heis­man Tro­phy can­di­date and the Seminoles are the sec­ond-ranked foot­ball team in the coun­try.

Car­roll, in an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press, also dis­puted the as­ser­tion by City Man­ager Anita Fa­vors Thomp­son that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­leged as­sault was put on hold be­cause the woman no longer wanted to pros­e­cute.

Fa­vors Thomp­son, say­ing that she an­tic­i­pated na­tional me­dia in­ter­est be­cause of Win­ston’s celebrity, emailed that in­for­ma­tion to the Tal­la­has­see mayor and city com­mis­sion­ers on Nov. 12. Her email stated po­lice “stopped get­ting re­sponses from the young woman and could no longer con­tact her for ad­di­tional fol­low up and in­for­ma­tion af­ter many at­tempts to do so.

The city man­ager said an at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing the al­leged vic­tim’s fam­ily said she “changed her mind and did not wish to pros­e­cute.”

Car­roll, how­ever, said that the woman never told po­lice she did not want to press charges.

Car­roll said that the ac­cuser — who is from the Tampa Bay area — was go­ing ahead with her life and at­tend­ing classes at FSU when it be­came ap­par­ent that the po­lice had no plans to se­ri­ously in­ves­ti­gate the case. She left school last week when she learned that the case was about to be­come pub­lic.

“I had no faith what­so­ever in the Tal­la­has­see po­lice depart­ment,” said Car­roll.

The state­ment from the fam­ily said that Car­roll asked a Tal­la­has­see po­lice de­tec­tive about ob­tain­ing a DNA sam­ple from Win­ston. But that the de­tec­tive re­fused to get the sam­ple and re­fused to in­ter­view peo­ple— in­clud­ing Win­ston’s room­mate — who may have wit­nessed the at­tack.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The lat­est ac­cu­sa­tion in a sex­ual as­sault in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­lated to FSU quar­ter­back Jameis Win­ston is that Tal­la­has­see po­lice warned the al­leged vic­tim to “think long and hard” be­fore pro­ceed­ing with a crim­i­nal com­plaint against the Seminoles star.

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