The headline shook many sports fans out of their early morning stupor like no coffee ever could; "Winston Investigated for Sexual Battery". Reports are circulating about Florida State University quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston being investigated for sexual battery resulting from an incident that is alleged to have occurred in December of last year. Winston's attorney Tim Jansen stated the case had been basically closed since February 2013. He went on to say he and his client are uncertain as to why it has been reopened. It has been revealed by USA Today that the Tallahassee Democrat is the news outlet that originally requested the police report, which is very non-specific as it relates to Winston alleged involvement.
Jansen said he was told by Tallahassee police last February, about a week after they first contacted him, that the case had been closed. "I talked to the police officer," Jansen told USA TODAY Sports. "He said the case had been closed. I don't know of any reason for reopening it."
Winston's status as the Florida State Seminole signal caller remains unchanged as of this story's publication date. The school released a statement highlighting their position on the matter.
"We are aware of a matter that was investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department almost a year ago," Florida State said in a statement. "Because the investigation has not been closed by TPD, we cannot comment further at this time. We look forward to a speedy resolution of the issue. There is no change in Jameis Winston's status."
The report does not mention Jameis Winston by name but gives some details of the occurrence. It reveals the time of the complaint as 4:01 a.m. and that the incident reportedly occurred between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. The suspect, whose name is listed as "Unknown", is described as a black male of muscular build between 5'9" and 5'11" and weighing 240 pounds. Winston is listed by Florida State as standing 6'4" tall and weighing 228 pounds.
As is the case with any investigation of this magnitude, and with the repercussions being so great for all parties involved, restraint in judgment is pivotal. This situation could take a sharp right turn at the drop of a hat. Will it be another case of a victim "crying wolf" to bring down a top athlete or is it indicative of yet another rowdy, criminally-inclined athlete who is attempting to escape justice? Is it coincidence the story is breaking now as Winston nears the zenith of his collegiate career? The Shadow League will keep you posted as the story continues to develop.