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The family of Jameis Winston’s accuser will hold a press conference Friday in Florida, according to an email sent out by the media.
It will be the first press conference the family has held since the story went public last month and the first words from the family of the accuser since the very generic statement it released following the announcement that Winston wouldn’t be charged.
On Dec. 5, Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs held a press conference to announce that he did not find enough evidence to charge Winston with a crime. Meggs noted that the accuser’s statements were not consistent and that he didn’t feel like she would have been a credible witness had the case gone to trial.
While the nature of Friday’s press conference was not specified in the email, the family of the accuser does have several avenues of legal recourse even though Winston was not formally charged by the Florida State’s Attorney’s office.
• The complainant could sue Winston. Under the statute of limitations, the complainant has until Dec. 7, 2016 to sue. That would be four years from the date of the original complaint. The complainant could claim Winston battered her during sex without her consent. She could also claim false imprisonment and/or emotional distress.
• The complainant could sue the Tallahassee Police Department. The lawyer for the family has already publicly stated that missteps were made by the TPD – the biggest being the 10-month delay in testing DNA and interviewing witnesses - and that detective Scott Angulo strongly urged the complainant not to continue with the case because of Winston’s profile as a football player.
• The complainant could sue Florida State University for its lack of supervision over Winston.
• The complainant could petition the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to review the investigation.
Of course, the timing of this press conference is not lost on anyone. Winston is one of six finalists up for the Heisman Trophy. Winston will be in New York with the Heisman Trophy Trust on Friday and will likely be crowned the next Heisman Trophy winner on Saturday.
There’s little the family of the accuser can do to stop that now, but depending on what the family decides to announce during the press conference, it could cast a dark cloud over the the ceremony.
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