FSU quarterback tells rape hearing accuser 'is lying'

Thu Dec 4, 2014 12:37am EST
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By Bill Cotterell

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida State University star quarterback Jameis Winston told a student conduct hearing that a woman who accused him of raping her two years ago was "lying" about their encounter, according to media reports on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old sophomore, the top U.S. college football player last year after winning the Heisman Trophy, gave his version in a statement to a former Florida Supreme Court justice retained by the university to hear testimony.

According to a copy obtained by several media outlets, Winston described the sexual counter as consensual, providing a graphic account of having sex with the woman in his apartment after they met at a bar near the campus.

"I never used physical violence, threats, or other coercive means," Winston said in the statement, adding that his unnamed accuser "is lying about me."

Winston also said he intended to exercise his right under the student conduct code not to answer questions until his accuser could be confronted by lawyers, under penalty of perjury, the media outlets reported.

"Rape is a vicious crime. The only thing as vicious as rape is falsely accusing someone of rape," Winston said in the statement.

Reuters could not immediately reach his attorney, David Cornwell, who told reporters after the closed door hearing that the woman was using it to build a civil lawsuit against Winston.

A decision is expected in two to three weeks. Punishments could range from a reprimand to expulsion if Winston is found in violation of four conduct code charges, two of sexual misconduct and two of endangerment.   Continued...

Quarterback Jameis Winston listens as his attorney, David Cornwell of Atlanta, talks to reporters in Tallahassee, Florida, December 3, 2014. REUTERS/Bill Cotterell