Report: Investigators Ignored Critical Facts in Rape Case Involving NCAA Football Star

A new, incredibly detailed, scathing New York Times report shows that the officials investigating rape allegations against Jameis Winston knowingly ignored evidence. It’s a disturbing look at the lack of investigation into serious accusations of a star athlete. The Florida State University quarterback, who led his team to last year’s BCS National Championship, is a superstar athlete and the youngest player ever to win the Heisman Trophy. Back in December of 2012, a woman reported to police that she had been sexually assaulted by a member of the FSU football team, later identified as Winston. According to the NYT report, the Tallahassee police department largely ignored key evidenced and closed the investigation after just 66 days—without informing the victim.

The detective failed to interview any of the key witnesses, gather DNA evidence, follow-up on an alleged cell phone video recording of the assault (which was later deleted) or look at security camera footage from a local bar from that evening. At one point, the victim’s attorney said that the detective advised her to drop the case because “Tallahassee is a big football town.” The report also disputes the TPU’s claim that the investigation was suspended because of the accuser’s “lack of cooperation.” It wasn’t until nearly a year after the initial assault was reported that the prosecutor’s office reopened the investigation. But, at that point, much of the key evidence (video tapes, DNA, testimony, ect.) was no longer available. It’s also unclear in the university investigated the assault claims as it is required to. Since the report was released yesterday, FSU released a statement saying, it “vigorously objects to the newspaper’s characterization of the university as being uncooperative in explaining its actions” or properly investigating the allegations …

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