Florida State quarterback Winston cleared in conduct hearing into alleged rape

Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:13pm EST
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By Bill Cotterell

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida State University star quarterback Jameis Winston has been cleared in a student conduct code hearing looking into charges that he sexually assaulted a female student two years ago, according to documents released to Reuters on Sunday.

There was insufficient evidence to charge the 20-year-old sophomore, one of the top U.S. college football players last year after winning the Heisman Trophy, with a violation, concluded retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Major B. Harding, retained by the university to oversee the proceedings.

"In sum, the preponderance of the evidence has not shown that you are responsible for any of the charged violations of the Code," Harding wrote in his five-page recommendation.

Winston was not charged criminally in the December 2012 incident, which he has maintained was consensual, after a Florida state attorney last year found insufficient evidence.

Attorney John Clune of Boulder, Colorado, who represents the accuser, said he was "stunned and dismayed by the order."

"It ignores the bulk of the evidence," said Clune, adding he was considering an appeal.

His client, who no longer attends Florida State, testified at the hearing, he said.

Winston did not answer questions at the hearing but submitted a lengthy statement in which he provided a graphic account of having sex with the woman in his apartment after they met at a bar near the campus.   Continued...

Dec 6, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) walks off the field after defeating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bank of America Stadium. FSU defeated Georgia Tech 37-35. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports - RTR4GZI3