Accuser's attorney asks Florida AG to look into Jameis Winston investigation

Story highlights

  • Attorney for alleged victim says police focused on her client
  • Patricia Carroll wants the state attorney general's office to investigate
  • Prosecutors declined to charge Florida State's star quarterback in the case
  • Winston has said through his attorney he had consensual sex with the woman
The attorney for a woman who accused Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston of raping her called Friday for a state inquiry into how authorities handled the now-closed investigation into her allegations.
In a news conference Friday, attorney Patricia Carroll accused the Tallahassee police detective who handled the case of spending time and resources investigating her client instead of Winston.
"I would characterize the investigation overall as an investigation into a rape victim as opposed to a rape suspect," Carroll said.
She said more than half of the 248-page investigative file authorities released to her consisted of records related to her client's telephone, social media and other records. She said only 11 of the pages contain references to Winston, and said some of the files released by authorities differed from those obtained by the woman's family.
Carroll also questioned how investigators handled and tested evidence in the case and said investigators failed to get warrants to examine video surveillance, Winston's apartment and other potential evidence that could have proven crucial to the case.
"You have a rape kit, you have physical evidence, you have blood in the underwear, you have semen, you have marks and bruises, you have a sprained back, some scrapes on the feet," Carroll told reporters.
"So you have injuries, identification, you have an immediate report ... and he (the detective) doesn't issue probable cause to get a search warrant for Mr. Winston's DNA. Instead, he issues a search warrant into the victim's phone records," she said.
Last week, Willie Meggs, the state attorney for the 2nd Judicial Circuit, which includes Leon County and Tallahassee, announced he would not file charges against Winston, whom the woman accused of rape in December 2012.
Meggs' decision followed a police investigation that the woman's family has alleged included undue emphasis on Winston's role as a leading player on the nation's top-ranked football team.
He is also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, which honors the nation's most outstanding college football athlete.
At the time, Meggs dismissed such criticisms, saying there was insufficient evidence even to arrest Winston, much less charge him with a crime.
Winston has said through his attorney, Tim Jansen, that he had consensual sex with the woman.
Carroll said Friday that what she called a botched investigation deserves attention from outside investigators "because if victims are subjected on an ongoing basis to what this victim has been subjected to, this is a serious problem in the state of Florida."
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has spoken with the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about the possibility of an inquiry, but no formal request has been received, spokesman Jenn Meale told CNN on Friday.
David Northway, the Tallahassee Police Department's public information officer, said, "The case has been closed by the State's Attorney Office, and the department continues to support him in all of his endeavors."
According to police documents, the woman told investigators she had been drinking with friends at a Tallahassee bar called Potbelly's. She said an unknown man gave her a shot glass of liquid before they left the bar.
She said she did not remember much of what happened next but told investigators she remembered winding up in a ground-floor apartment, where a man took off her clothes and had sex with her despite her objections.
She reported the alleged assault to campus police that night.
The woman came forward a month after making her initial report to accuse Winston, but Tallahassee's interim Police Chief Tom Coe said last week that she "broke off contact" with investigators in February and said she didn't want to go forward with the case.
The woman's family has said that a detective had warned her attorney that Tallahassee is a "big football town" and that her life could be miserable if she pursued the case.
Carroll said the woman is not contemplating any civil litigation and is focusing on finishing final examinations at Florida State under special accommodations made by the school.
She said the woman's sorority has been subjected to threats and has had some tires slashed.