Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, one of the top players in college football this fall, is currently being investigated for sexual assault in Tallahassee.
He's emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate in his first year as the Seminoles' starting quarterback, but his season has taken a much darker turn as details of the alleged assault last December have leaked to various media outlets. Today the alleged victim released a statement accusing authorities of negligence and favoritism in their handling of the case.
Here's what we know about the case so far:
Dec. 7, 2012:
A woman files a sexual assault complaint with the Tallahassee Police Department.
The report says the victim was drinking prior to the alleged assault, which occurred between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. The suspect is described as a black male with a "muscular" build, listing his height as between 5'9" and 5'11", with a maximum weight of 240 pounds (Winston is listed as 6'4", 235 pounds in the Florida State media guide).
The Tallahassee police received a call about the alleged crime at 4:01 a.m., arrived at the scene — an apartment whose location is not listed in the report — by 4:10 a.m., and filed a report by 4:43 a.m. Police collected evidence and took photos of the victim's injuries.
Early January 2013:
The alleged victim identifies Winston as the suspect to Tallahassee police.
Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, is first contacted about the case. A week later, Jansen says, the case was closed. Winston was not interviewed by police or prosecutors.
Nov. 6–13, 2013:
According to Deadspin, Tampa Bay Times reporter Matt Baker — acting on a tip — is the first media member to ask the Tallahassee Police Department about the case, otherwise known as No. 12-32758. Baker makes several follow-up requests, and TMZ also makes an inquiry on Nov. 11.
Nov. 13, 2013:
The Tallahassee Police Department sends out a mass email to media outlets that includes a copy of the heavily redacted police report. There is no mention in the email that the complaint was filed against Winston. Within hours, both TMZ and the Tallahassee Democrat identify Winston as the alleged perpetrator.
Nov. 14, 2013:
TMZ reports that there's evidence the Tallahassee police attempted to cover up the allegations against Winston, saying that sources in the local state attorney's office found it suspicious that they weren't notified about the case until months after it was closed and just a day after TMZ's snooping. The case is reactivated and sent back to police for further investigation.
Nov. 16, 2003:
The state attorney investigating Winston tells ESPN that his office could decide within the next two weeks whether to pursue criminal charges.
Nov. 19, 2013:
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the investigation was reportedly closed in February because the alleged victim decided she didn't want to press charges.
Nov. 20, 2013:
The Tampa Bay Times releases an explosive report, including a statement from the victim's family, claiming a Tallahassee detective told the accuser's attorney that Tallahassee is a "big football town" and her client's life could "be made miserable" if she pursued a sexual assault case against Winston.
If Winston is charged with felony sexual assault, he would automatically be removed from the football team per Florida State's rules.
Winston still hasn't yet talked with police and hasn't provided authorities with a written statement, according to reports.
The statement that the alleged victim's attorney released Wednesday is below.
UPDATE - Nov. 21, 11:15 a.m.:
The attorney representing the alleged victim says reports that her client didn't want to press charges aren't true. Patricia Carroll of Tampa says her client decided to move on with her life after it became apparent the Tallahassee Police Department was not seriously investigating the case.
Per an ESPN.com report, DNA provided by Winston matched a sample taken from the alleged victim. According to a DNA analysis report, the Florida state crime lab determined that the chances of the DNA in the woman's underwear are a match for someone other than Winston was one in 2.2 trillion.