At the end of his two-day student conduct hearing Wednesday to determine whether he raped another student in December 2012, Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston provided a statement in which he denied all allegations of assault -- calling them "as vicious as rape."
"Rape is a vicious crime. The only thing as vicious as rape is falsely accusing someone of rape," Winston's statement read, in part. "[The victim] 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."
Winston's statement also included a lengthy, detailed account of what he said happened that night -- not rape, but multiple consensual sexual acts: "I apologize for the graphic nature of the matters I describe, but given the false accusations against me it is important to describe fully and accurately my interaction with [the victim] to demonstrate that she willingly engaged in multiple consensual sexual acts with me with her full knowledge and consent.
"[The victim] is lying about me. I have no choice but to tell the truth about her."
Authorities opened a criminal investigation against Winston in early 2013, but no charges were ever filed. In December 2013, State Attorney Willie Meggs announced that his investigation had not found evidence enough to assure a conviction at trial.
A subsequent New York Times investigation exposed myriad flaws in the handling of the allegation and Winston has since come under repeated scrutiny for his off-the-field behavior, including shoplifting.
FSU's investigation is a seperate matter and is required by federal law. Winston could face charges from the school under its code of conduct.
According to CNN, the victim alleges "Winston raped her after she had been drinking with friends at a bar in Tallahassee. She said an unknown man gave her a shot glass of liquid before they left the bar. The accuser said she did not remember little of what happened afterward, but that she did remember being in a ground-floor apartment where a man took off her clothes and had sex with her despite her objections."
More news of the day:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.