Just a short time before the Florida State Seminoles were celebrating their first national championship win since the 1999 season, there was genuine concern that they would have to continue their march through the remainder of the 2013 college football regular season without their phenom redshirt freshman QB, Jameis Winston, who was the centerpiece of an alleged sexual assault investigation.
As it turned out, Winston was eventually cleared of the charges, went on to win the Heisman Trophy in a landslide, and led the ‘Noles to that aforementioned championship.
Still, although he was cleared, a lot of people have raised questions about how the investigation was handled, as many believe there was enough evidence, or at least some holes in that investigation conducted by the police that could have led to the conviction of the Hueytown, Alabama native.
Well, the New York Times has explored those possibilities in detail, and they chronicled them in a report that was released early Wednesday morning.
Walt Bogdanich of the New York Times looked at such topics as the length of time it took the detective handling the case to file the first report, while also getting some input from the prosecutor in the high-profile case, Willie Meggs:
The detective handling the case waited two months to write his first report and then prematurely suspended his inquiry without informing the accuser. By the time the prosecutor got the case, important evidence had disappeared, including the video of the sexual act.
“They just missed all the basic fundamental stuff that you are supposed to do,” Mr. Meggs said in a recent interview. Even so, he cautioned, a better investigation might have yielded the same result.
Then, there’s this simple, yet eye-opening quote from State Attorney Georgia Cappelman, who more or less says that while Winston was cleared of a serious crime, she does not believe that he’s exactly an angel in all of this:
“I believe that Mr. Winston cannot be convicted. I don’t necessarily believe that he’s innocent.”
Finally, as many people have theorized was the case with this entire investigation, former State Attorney Adam Ruiz says that he learned what the real priority in all of this was:
“I learned quickly what football meant in the South,” said Mr. Ruiz, who grew up in New York State. “Clearly, it meant a lot. And with respect to this case I learned that keeping players on the field was a priority.”
Now no matter what your belief about the case is, I do suggest taking at least a brief look at the longform piece that was published by one of the more respected newspapers in the history of the nation, and you can read all about the details they came up with by simply clicking here.