Now that I have your attention, please know…I do not have a problem with Jameis Winston. For that matter I don’t have a problem with his accuser who still remains nameless. Who do I have a problem with? I have a problem with all surrounding parties. Today we go “HARD IN THE PAINT” on the handling of the Jameis Winston Sexual Assault Case. Leggo.
Some of you may be wondering why I waited until now to comment on the Jameis Winston case. Well for one, I wanted the entire situation to play itself…from the announcement that an investigation was under way, to the ruling of State District Attorney Willie Meggs to Jameis Winston eventually winning the Heisman Trophy. I’m a father. I have daughters so allow me to just say right off the rip that there is no way in hell this thing would have played itself out a year later had one of my daughters come home and said, “Daddy…I’ve been raped.”
Allegedly the rape took place during December of 2012 and was reported to the Tallahassee Police Department on December 7, 2012. Per USA Today here is a timeline of the events in question. In January of 2013, the complainant identified Jameis Winston as the rapist to the Tallahassee Police Department. In February of 2013, Jameis’ attorney Tim Jansen was contacted by TPD (Tallahassee Police Department) stating that the case was closed. PAUSE.
Anyone else besides myself see the movie, “A Time To Kill” featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey. If you haven’t I won’t reveal the plot but let’s just say I’m prone to erring more on the side of Mr. Jackson’s character as opposed to how these events played out in real life. How so? Well let’s continue. After TPD announced the case was closed…nothing happened. I mean nothing literally happened. The accuser’s attorney did nothing. The accuser’s family did nothing. Now maybe I have this whole thing confused but no one did nothing? Everybody just went on their merry way? Really? I don’t believe my conviction is that strong to sit back and let it go…ahhhh but wait…something did happen.
On Friday, November 8, 2013 a reporter from the Tampa Times by the name of Matt Baker makes a public records request of the December incident using the case number. At that time, Florida State is 8-0. Jameis Winston is being touted for the Heisman Trophy after his performance against Clemson. Florida is also in the National Championship race with really no one left to play on their schedule. After their demolition of Wake Forest on national television bringing their record to 9-0, TMZ makes a public records request seeking records involving Winston.
Hold on for a minute. Why all the sudden interest in Winston. Listen I live here in Tallahassee, Florida and I can tell you Jameis Winston wasn’t on my radar a year ago. I’m a Georgia Bulldog football fan and I knew of E. J. Manuel was the starter for FSU and that Aaron Murray was my guy at Georgia. That’s it. Per BlackSportsOnLine The accuser’s attorney, Patricia Carroll made this statement on November 22, 2013, “It is absolutely untrue. This is a victim of rape, which occurred on Dec. 7. She identified this guy sometime in January. This whole situation — think about it, think about it — if she wanted to ruin this guy, she would have done it a long time ago.”
“She’s not someone with any interest in ruining the football team,” Carroll said. “If this victim was interested in notoriety, why would she have not taken any action all this time? Anyone with a brain can see that. It’s ludicrous. It only came out when someone from the press got a hold of this. It’s really ruined her life. There’s no benefit in this to her whatsoever. She’s a good girl, and this is a nightmare. She was trying to move on with her life, and there was no benefit to her.”
Okay, I get it. Ms. Carroll is an attorney and much smarter than me when it comes to the judicial system but maybe she allow someone else to speak publicly for her. See the reporter from the Tampa Times, Mr. Matt Baker? He didn’t just arbitrarily contact TPD. That’s not how this works. Why? Because he had no reason to. Someone tipped him off. As a matter of fact, TMZ didn’t just decide to make a public records request to TPD. TMZ is a “celebrity gossip show” located out in Los Angeles and guess what? Jameis Winston did not become a celebrity until the fall of 2013. So now the question becomes…just how did a celebrity gossip show get wind of the Jameis Winston allegation before…ESPN? Once again…it was leaked and it was leaked to an entity whose job it is to make people look…bad.
I’m not saying Ms. Carroll’s client was not raped. I’m simply saying that the best time to come out against Jameis Winston was not in 2012. The beginning of the football season wasn’t even the best time to come out against Jameis Winston because he could’ve been a bust and so could the Seminoles. Noooo, the best time to come out against this young man was exactly the time the reports started leaking. As stated earlier, he was being touted for a Heisman. He’d even been given a nick name. Famous Jameis is what people started calling him. During this time frame I just shook my head saying to myself, “It couldn’t have been my daughter. Nope, old Mr. Butler would’ve handled this a long time ago.” Think I’m just putting on? Just ask my wife. She’s seen me up close and personal and knows how I feel about my daughters and that has always been her biggest concern…that somebody would hurt them and I would either wind up dying over it or going to jail.
I digress though because according the timeline, TPD reopened their investigation on November 12, 2013. It’s not like they really had a choice given the media scrutiny they were under. That being said…there were several statements released by the Ms. Carroll, the State District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Jansen and several other people. ESPN and ESPN2 via their news shows reported on alleged rape on a daily basis. Questions were asked, intentions were debated and ramifications were discussed. How was this going to affect the Seminoles? Could they stay focused? Would Jameis become distracted? Would it affect his Heisman Trophy campaign? Silently I just shook my head because what truly mattered was what truly mattered and nobody seemed to really care about what truly mattered…was what I thought to myself.
What truly mattered was this. Jameis Winston won the Heisman with 2,205 votes. The next closest person had 704 votes. Mind you that was after 115 voters left Jameis off of their ballot altogether. Know what that means? This young man is considered guilty in their eyes. I don’t know if any of those people will ever come forward but by leaving Winston off of their ballot, their belief was made known, regardless of whether it will ever be made public. Winston, a redshirt freshman only has to play one more season at FSU before turning pro. If he does decide to do so at that time…he will have to field questions from all 32 NFL teams and their representatives regarding the alleged rape. That’s a shame.
As for the young lady. She’s been manipulated by those who sought to use her to gain some form of fame. See the right thing to do was not sit back and wait. Her attorney made the mistake of not pressing the issue and then playing the public sentiment card. She lost. Public sentiment would have been with the young lady when this first happened. To hell with FSU. If she was actually raped, let’s scream it to the mountain tops and have her accuser go before trial…before he gets some fancy schmancy nick name. I feel for her because those that should’ve had her back…did not. Her attorney is her attorney and when TPD stopped the investigation, we should’ve heard from Ms. Carroll in February 2013 not TMZ in November, 2013. I hold Ms. Carroll and those around the young responsible for this debacle because they failed her. I hold the legal system responsible because it comes across as though they showed FSU and specifically Jameis Winston some form of favoritism and it’s way too obvious that someone within the judicial system did do exactly. These two young people will forever be scarred by this moment and it’s not their fault. It’s all of those involved who decided to put their own personal agendas ahead of these two young people. I’m out.

  1. Abigsig says:

    Good Blog but just so you know the Heisman winner is often left off of many ballots. Jameis was actually left of the seventh fewest ballots of all time. From “One note: There’s been much made of Winston being “left off” 115 ballots. Some commentators are suggesting that it is evidence that some voters had concerns about the off-the-field issues. There may be some, but the number of ballots he was “left off” of is not unusual — except that’s actually unusually low. Winston appeared on 87.6% of ballots, which is actually the 7th highest number of ballots all-time.”

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