College football quarterback Jameis Winston has officially been cleared in the alleged rape case against him — on behalf of the state of Florida and his school, Florida State University.
Major Harding, former Florida State Supreme Court Justice, announced that Jameis Winston did not violate Florida State University’s student code of conduct.
A formal hearing was conducted earlier this month, allowing the woman claiming that Jameis Winston sexually assaulted her two years ago to face him. During that hearing, Jameis Winston read an official statement, in which he clearly stated that he did not rape or sexually assault the woman that accused him of doing so.
ESPN obtained a copy of that statement and posted it online shortly after it was delivered.
“I did not rape or sexually assault [the accuser]. 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.”
Jameis Winston also provided a detailed explanation of the events from the night in question — including their sexual intercourse, which he stated numerous times was consensual.
Winston also spoke openly about the damage that the allegations made against him had caused to his reputation since they first surfaced.
“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.”
According to Major Harding, there was not enough solid evidence provided to prove that Jameis Winston was in violation of the school’s code of conduct. It was also the same lack of substantial evidence which led to Winston not being charged in a Florida state courtroom even after a criminal investigation.
TMZ Sports reports that if the woman who made the allegations wants to appeal this ruling, her deadline for doing so is January 13.
Chances are that the Florida State Seminoles are excited to still have their star quarterback on the team — especially since they are preparing to go head-to-head against Oregon on New Year’s Day in the upcoming Rose Bowl.
[Image Credit: Perry Dube]