Jameis Winston Gives his Side of the Story; If Found Guilty, he Faces Expulsion at Florida State

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (right) listens to his adviser, David Cornwell, talk to reporters Wednesday. (Reuters)
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (right) listens to his adviser, David Cornwell, talk to reporters Wednesday. (Reuters)

For the first time, we have Jameis Winston’s side of the story in the case of a young woman accusing him of rape. Winston gave his 20-minute account in court on Wednesday, and now tensions have increased between the lawyers on both sides of the case. 

The New York Times reports:

Winston denied raping the woman and gave a detailed, often explicit account of events. Within a couple of hours, his five-page letter — an exhibit in a Title IX proceeding that is supposed to ensure confidentially and legally protect the privacy of students — was released to the news media and quickly posted on the Internet.

The events further escalated animosity between lawyers for both sides on Thursday as Winston and his accuser await the decision of Major B. Harding, the retired Florida Supreme Court chief justice who presided over the two-day hearing.

The Title IX lawyers for the accuser, John Clune and Baine Kerr, were outraged at Winston’s lawyer, David Cornwell, for the release of Winston’s statement.

“It apparently took about one hour for Mr. Winston and his lawyer to violate Justice Harding’s confidentiality instructions by emailing out one of the exhibits to the media,” Clune said in a statement. “Jameis Winston’s crude new recollection of events is as disgusting as it is implausible. He just keeps digging himself deeper. For now we will trust in the strength of our client’s repeated and consistent interviews.”

Clune, who said he expected Harding to make a ruling in two to three weeks, had been critical of what he saw as stonewalling by Florida State during the past two years, but he praised the fairness shown at the hearing.

The following excerpts from Winston’s testimony are from a copy obtained by ESPN:

I did not rape or sexually assault [the accuser],” Winston said, according to the statement. “I did not create a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment in the short period of time that we were together. [The accuser] had the capacity to consent to having sex with me and she repeatedly did so by her conduct and her verbal expressions. I never used physical violence, threats, or other coercive means towards [the accuser]. Finally, I never endangered [the accuser’s] health, safety, or well-being.

In the late evening of December 6, 2012 or the early morning of December 7, 2012, Chris Casher, Ron Darby, and I arrived at Potbelly’s. Many of my teammates were also at Potbelly’s. At some point, I noticed an attractive girl dancing on the dance floor. A few teammates and I started dancing as well and I worked my way over to this girl and made small talk with her as we started dancing together. I asked her for her name and she asked me for mine. I told her my name. She said her name was [the accuser’s name]. To the best of my recollection, [the accuser] and I danced together for approximately 10 minutes. When we finished dancing, we continued to talk and I asked [the accuser] for her telephone number. It was loud in Potbelly’s, so, rather than yelling her telephone number at me, [the accuser] took my cellular phone and entered her telephone number into my phone.

Chris, Ron and I were standing next to a taxicab when [the accuser] came outside and voluntarily walked over to us,” Winston said. “I do not recall exactly what was said, but we made it clear that we were leaving and [the accuser] made it clear that she wanted to leave with us. Since Potbelly’s was closing, there were a bunch of students outside of Potbelly’s, around the outside bar, and there were a bunch of taxicabs parked at the curb in front of Potbelly’s. [The accuser] voluntarily left with us.

Almost immediately upon our arrival, [the accuser] and I went into my bedroom,” Winston said. “We were standing facing each other, kissing and touching each other’s bodies. I eventually asked [the accuser] if she would perform oral sex on me. She said that she would. The lights in my bedroom were on and [the accuser] willingly performed oral sex on me. While [the accuser] was performing oral sex, I was close enough to my dresser to reach over to it, open a drawer, and retrieve a condom.

[The accuser] assisted me in putting on the condom,” Winston said. “I stood on the floor with [the accuser] on the bed and we engaged in consensual sexual intercourse. After sometime in this position, we changed positions. I got on my bed on my back and [the accuser] got on top of me. [The accuser’s] conduct and other verbal expressions left no doubt that our sex was consensual.

Thereafter, either Ron or Chris pushed the door open as a prank. [The accuser] asked me if there was anyway we could have more privacy. I took her into my bathroom. While in the bathroom, we began to have consensual sex again and eventually concluded having sex. After we finished having sex, we stayed in the bathroom for a few minutes talking and she then indicated that she was ready to leave.

Other than asking Chris to leave the room, [the accuser] did not say or do anything to express or indicate that she was upset about anything that occurred before, during, or after consensual sexual activities. From the time I met [the accuser] at Potbelly’s to the time that I dropped her off at her dormitory, [the accuser] was fully aware of her surroundings and in control of all of her faculties.

She was responsive and communicative. She had a pleasant personality and was fun to be with. During our consensual sexual interactions, [the accuser] engaged in sexual talk and took other actions that made it clear that the sex was consensual and that she was enjoying having sex with me. If [the accuser] did not want to have oral sex or intercourse with me, she was fully capable of expressing it to me, the taxicab drivers, the numerous students outside of Potbelly’s, Chris, and/or Ron. Had she done so, I would have stopped immediately.

Rape is a vicious crime. The only thing as vicious as rape is falsely accusing someone of rape. [The accuser] and her lawyers have falsely accused me, threatened to sue me, demanded $7,000,000 from me, engaged in a destructive media campaign against me, and manipulated this process to the point that my rights have and will continue to be severely compromised. [The accuser’s] and her lawyers’ public campaign to vilify me guarantees that her false allegations will follow me for the rest of my life.

At some point they will be held accountable, so I have determined that it is in my best interests to exercise my right pursuant to Rule 6C2R-3.004 (6)(d)of the Florida State University Student Code of Conduct and answer questions when experienced lawyers and other experts can assist me in confronting [the accuser’s] false accusation and when [the accuser] is subject to the penalty of perjury and other claims for [the accuser] falsely accusing me of rape.

–BCNN1

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