Report: FSU investigates Winston case, charges two teammates with misconduct
Florida State University investigated Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and charged two of his teammates with misconduct in relation to allegations that Winston had sexually assaulted a fellow student, according to a report from Deadspin's Adam Weinstein.
The state's attorney's office announced in December that Winston would not face criminal charges in the case. Winston's accuser alleged that he raped her on December 7, 2012, and the allegations emerged publicly last November. The quarterback denied the allegations throughout the criminal investigation and said that he had consensual sex with the accuser. There were reports in January that the accuser intended to sue Winston, the Tallahassee Police Department and possibly the university.
According to the Deadspin report released on Thursday, Winston was interrogated by university administrators after the football season ended, and two of his teammates -- defensive end Chris Casher and defensive back Ronald Darby -- face charges for violating the university's code of conduct.
The school charged Casher and Darby with "conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person" and "acts that invade the privacy of another person," according to the report. Casher also faces an additional charge of "recording of images without consent."
According to Deadspin, possible punishments range "from a letter of reprimand to expulsion from the university."
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In late January—after the season had ended—Winston was summoned to a meeting with administrators conducting the university's Title IX investigation. Present were Jeanine Ward-Roof, FSU's dean of students and its Title IX coordinator; Rachel Bukanc, director of the university's Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities; and Francis "Monk" Bonasorte, a senior associate athletics director and former FSU player who has acted as a sort of consigliere to the team's current players, according to Deadspin's source.
At the meeting, Winston "basically took the fifth," the source says. Winston was asked if he was aware of the allegations against him. He replied that his legal counsel had advised him not to answer any questions.
According to the source, Ward-Roof later said that she would have asked Winston if he had obtained consent for sex on the night of the incident, if he knew about alcohol impairment, and if he knew what "consent" meant. But the star athlete declined to cooperate. Instead, the meeting became "an educational conversation" in which Winston was advised of the university's definition of consent, its alcohol policies, and its code of conduct.