A lawyer representing the woman who accused Jameis Winston of sexual assault said he was told Florida State stopped its student conduct investigation into Winston and he wants it to continue.
Lawyer Baine Kerr told USA Today the school cited Winston's unwillingness to cooperate with a Title IX investigation into the incident as a reason for its suspension. He said when the university questioned Winston in January 2013, the Heisman winner refused to answer questions on advice of his lawyer.
"The university took the position that since he refused to respond to questions, they could not make any Title IX findings," Kerr said to USA Today. "We have objected to that as impermissible reason to delay or terminate a Title IX sexual assault investigation because that would permit any charged party to thwart an investigation simply by refusing to answer questions."
Two experts cited in the report also took issue with Florida State's decision.
Kerr said he feels Florida State's position against charging Winston will change. He also said his client has remained willing to cooperate.
"We expect that they will change their position," Kerr said. "We expect those charges will be forthcoming."
Florida State declined to comment for USA Today's story, citing privacy laws, but defended its actions on Wednesday after a New York Times report criticized the handling of the investigation into the alleged incident by both the Tallahassee Police Department and the school.
Winston was accused of sexual assualt on Dec. 7, 2012. After an 11 month delay in the case, Florida state prosecutor Willie Meggs declined press criminal charges against Winston in December 2013 because of a lack of evidence in the case.
The school has proceeded with conduct charges against Winston's teammates Chris Casher and Ronald Darby for their involvement. Both Casher and Darby admitted in signed affadavits that they witnessed the encounter which Winston has maintained was consensual.
The accuser filed a complaint with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights to intervene in the case last month.
Thursday, the Oklahoman reported that Oklahoma LB Frank Shannon was under a university Title IX investigation after he was accused of sexual assault in January. However, the Cleveland County district attorney declined to press criminal charges against Shannon, citing a lack of clarity in the case.
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- Crime & Justice
- Society & Culture
- Jameis Winston
- sexual assault