The woman who accused Jameis Winston of sexual assault had a class with the Florida State quarterback the semester after their encounter took place, according to the accuser’s close friend.
In an interview with authorities, Monique Kessler, a close friend of the accuser, claimed that the unnamed 19-year-old only realized that Winston was the man who had allegedly raped her when she spotted him in a class the following semester, TMZ reports. In the immediate aftermath of the Dec. 7, 2012, encounter, the accuser told police that she knew that her alleged attacker was a Florida State football player, but did not know his name and couldn’t place his face.
According to Kessler, who had been with the accuser on the night that the alleged rape took place, the accuser only identified Winston after inadvertently locking eyes with him in a class the following semester. “I guess she went to one of her classes and she made direct eye contact with the guy, and he looked in shock and so did she,” Kessler said. “And she said that she just knew right then, like it was him. She listened for [the professor] to call roll in class, and she listened to [Winston] say [his name]. She said it just all made a lot more sense.”
After that class, the accuser talked to Tallahassee police and identified Winston as her attacker. She dropped out of Florida State shortly thereafter.
Despite the accuser’s testimony, State Attorney Willie Meggs ultimately determined that Winston would not face criminal charges for the alleged sexual assault, citing a lack of evidence. According to Meggs, prosecutors were not confident that the evidence that they were able to gather would be enough to secure a conviction. He also revealed that investigators had found the DNA of a second man on the accuser, though it was unclear if that sample was left before or after the alleged rape took place.
On Friday, Patricia Carroll, the accuser’s attorney, held a press conference in which she criticized the Winston investigation, USA Today reports. Carroll claims that the testimony of Chris Casher and Ronald Darby, Winston’s teammates at FSU, was “patently false,” and questioned the motive of the investigation. According to Carroll, it was “an investigation of a rape victim, not an investigation of a rape suspect.”