A New York Times report says the police inquiry into the accusations against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was "flawed" and "there was virtually no investigation at all" by either the university or the Tallahassee Police Department into the claims of sexual assault involving Winston.
The Times, after speaking with Florida state prosecutor Willie Meggs and others involved in the case, also states that the investigation by the detective assigned to the case was "halting at best."
“They just missed all the basic fundamental stuff that you are supposed to do,” Meggs told the Times, while also saying a better investigation may have turned up no other information to bring charges against Winston.
Winston was ultimately not charged by Meggs in December 2013 after the prosecutor cited a lack of evidence in the case, which stemmed from the allegations on Dec. 7, 2012, nearly a year earlier.
Winston didn't miss a game in 2013 as he won the Heisman Trophy as Florida State went 14-0 and beat Auburn in the BCS Championship Game.
According to the report, TPD detective Scott Angulo, who has also requested to work private security for FSU booster functions, waited two weeks to contact Winston after his accuser identified him as the suspect approximately a month after the incident.
When Angulo did contact Winston, he did so by phone rather than in person. When Winston was reached, the quarterback told Angulo he had baseball practice and he'd call Angulo back.
Winston never returned the phone call and Angulo was instead contacted by Winston's lawyer, who said his client wouldn't be speaking.
“It’s insane to call a suspect on the phone,” Meggs told the Times. “First off, you don’t know who you are talking to. If you walked up to Jameis Winston in the middle of baseball practice and said, ‘Come here, son, I need to talk to you,’ he would have said, ‘Yes, sir.’
“He’s not in custody, you don’t have to read him his rights. He might have said, ‘I didn’t have sex that night.’”
Winston, who has acknowledged having consensual sex with the accuser, met her at Potbelly's, a popular Tallahassee bar that has 30 cameras on its premises. The Times report says Angulo's report includes no mention of reviewing the bar's surveillance footage from that night and no indications of any interviews with cab drivers after a request to contact all drivers who had worked on the morning of Dec. 7, 2012 wasn't responded to.
Meggs said he's convinced that had the investigation been done properly, his department would have had video from the bar.
In his report, Angulo said he suspended the investigation into the case because of a lack of cooperation from the accuser. However, the woman's attorney, Patricia Carroll, told the Times she was never notified of a suspension in the case.
Carroll said that her client was worried about possible repercussions for pursuing the case — the family released a statement in November saying Angulo told the woman her life could be made miserable — but “at no time did we call him and tell him we don’t want you to do an investigation.”
Florida State's athletic department first learned of the accusations on Jan. 23, 2013, when contacted by Angulo's backup on the case. By federal rule, any athletic department official is required to pass on reports of sexual misconduct to school administrators. FSU did not respond to the Times when asked if officials had been notified.
The U.S. Department of Education is currently investigating the university's handling of the case. The school reportedly questioned Winston in the case.
Chris Casher and Ronald Darby, Winston's roommates who were present on Dec. 7, 2012, were charged with violations of the school's code of conduct.
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