Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston for the first time gave his own account of his December 2012 encounter with a fellow university student during a student conduct code hearing Wednesday on the former Heisman Trophy winner’s alleged sexual misconduct. Winston declined to testify at the hearing, but instead read a statement in which he denied raping his accuser.
“I did not rape or sexually assault [the accuser],” Winston said in the statement, according to ESPN. "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."
Winston gave a detailed account of his interaction with the accuser, who attended Florida State at the time of the incident. The 20-year-old said he and the accuser engaged in consensual sex and that she never expressed discomfort with the situation. He admonished the accuser for “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,” Winston said.
Tallahassee prosecutors opted not to charge Winston in December 2013 with sexual assault, citing a lack of sufficient evidence. Florida State officials announced a probe into the sexual assault allegations in September to determine if Winston’s actions constituted a violation of the school’s student conduct policy. If violations are found, Winston could face punishment ranging from formal reprimand to expulsion from the university, ESPN reports.
Winston exercised his right not to answer questions from the hearing’s overseer, former Florida State Supreme Court Chief Justice Major Harding, or the accuser’s lawyer. The student conduct hearing concluded on Wednesday.