A Florida State official currently in charge of the office that consults the rape victims at the campus reported in a statement that 20 claims of sexual assault had been made against Seminoles football players over the last nine years. The information was initially broadcasted by The Associated Press.
An ex-director of FSU’s victim advocate program, Melissa Ashton, informed the legal representatives about the rape claims in the month of June. The report was part of an ongoing civil lawsuit. It was filed by the former student Erica Kinsman and the charges were brought against the university. Kinsman stated that the authority of the university were negligent on her allegations specifying that the former star quarterback Jameis Winston raped her in 2012.
Ashton further stated that majority of the 20 victims who alleged sexual assaults by team members in the last nine years refused to press student conduct charges.
The students who brought the civil lawsuit stated that they sued the school because Melissa informed them of the negligence displayed when she reported to the school about her getting sexually assaulted by former quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston played a key role in winning the Heisman Trophy and who eventually led the Seminoles to a national title during his college career. However, he was often beneath the radar because of these allegations.
Florida State cleared Winston out during a hearing. The prosecutor also did not press criminal charges against him stating that there wasn’t enough evidence for a conviction.
Ashton also said that many who stated that they were sexually assaulted by football players did not undergo the process due to the fear of retaliation that happened in the prior cases.
Winston is currently the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He have purportedly denied Kinsman’s accusations. The Florida prosecutor who chose not to press criminal charges in late 2013, informed in detail that there were cracks in the indicter’s claims and there wasn’t enough evidence to grab a conviction.
Ashton was very serious of how the university dealt with student conduct cases. She claimed that, for instance, that the university does not possess the practice of expelling students who infringe student conduct rules. Moreover, she claimed in her statements that these athletes received preferential treatment during the inquiries of misconduct, counting access to an athletic department official who aided them get access to outside lawyers.
The university replied to a public records request, and released depositions of both Ashton and FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher late Wednesday. FSU attempted to get a federal judge stop the discharge of all deposition transcripts connected to the case; however, in late October, the judge refused it.
FSU still end up redacting major parts from both depositions, opposing that these are mostly education records exempted from Florida’s public records law.