crimesider

Police blasted for handling of Jameis Winston rape case

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) during the first quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, N.C., Nov. 9, 2013. Jeremy Brevard, Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The family of a Fla. woman who accused star college football player Jameis Winston of rape in January is blasting the Tallahassee Police Department's "questionable" handling of the case, and now, ESPN reports that Winston's DNA was found in the alleged victim's underwear.

According to a statement released Tuesday by Patricia Carroll, the attorney representing the alleged victim and her family, the detective on the case discouraged the woman from making a formal report, and refused to perform standard investigative actions, including obtaining a DNA sample or interviewing Winston's roommate, who may have witnessed the alleged incident.

The victim's name has not been released publicly, but according to the statement, the woman alleges that she was raped on Dec. 7, 2012. The woman was apparently initially uncertain who had allegedly attacked her, but by the next month, according to the statement, was able to identify the alleged assailant as Winston, the quarterback for Florida State University's highly ranked football team.

From there, the story gets more complicated. The victim alleges that the detective on the case, identified as Detective Angulo, seemed concerned that the allegation not be made public. The detective allegedly refused - despite repeated requests over several months - to take a DNA sample or interview Winston's roommate because that would alert Winston.

However, the statement alleges that as the detective was telling the woman he didn't want to take the samples for fear of alerting Winston and thus making the case public, Tallahassee police had notified Winston's attorney of the accusation, "which allowed him all of this time to create his defense and prepare his witnesses."

On Wednesday evening, Tallahassee Police Chief Tom Coe told reporters that the case was classified as "inactive" in Feb. 2013 after "the victim in that case broke off contact with the Tallahassee Police Department and her attorney indicated she did not want to move forward at that time."

Carroll told the Associated Press that the victim never told police she did not want to press charges and denies she broke off contact with police.

It is unclear when the case was finally forwarded to the State Attorney's office; the Tallahasse police are not commenting on that aspect of the case and State Attorney William Meggs also did not return a request to comment. Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, did not respond to an emailed list of questions.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed to CBS News' Crimesider that they conducted DNA and toxicology screens in the case and sent the results to the Tallahassee police and the State Attorney's office on Wednesday. A spokeswoman would not comment on when they received the samples.

According to the family's statement, Detective Angulo told an attorney who was acting as the victim's representative that "Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable."

Chief Coe did not address this, or the alleged victims allegations that she was pressured not to file a report against Winston in his Wednesday statement.

Winston is a front-runner for the Heisman trophy, college football's highest individual honor.



  • Julia Dahl

    Julia Dahl writes about crime and justice for CBSNews.com

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