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The Florida special prosecutor announced yesterday that there is not enough evidence to charge Florida State quarterback (and likely Heisman Trophy winner) Jameis Winston with rape, despite the fact that the woman reported it to police immediately after their sexual contact.  (The Tallahassee Police Department's inaction for 11 months after the victim's complaint and hospital rape kit examination makes it effectively impossible to prosecute.)

Will there be anti-rape demonstrators at the Pasadena game parking lot and access roads on Monday, January 6, 2014 for the game, for its audience of 26+ million viewers, mostly male and many impressionable young men?  

Quarterback Jameis Winston figures to cash in on his fame after the game and reap tens of millions of dollars of endorsement contracts for TV and print ads.  

Perhaps 10,000 or 250,000 demonstrators at the stadium, the parking lot, clogging up the access roads, etc. carrying signs that say "No Means No" could signal to the national media broadcast audience, including the millions of impressionable male teens watching on TV, to the NCAA, to the Florida State University administration and its football program that people need to be held to a higher standard than "there's not enough evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt".

The BCS national college football championship game is on Monday, January 6, 2014 at 8:30pm Eastern Time (5:30pm local time) in Pasadena, California at the Rose Bowl Stadium.

The game could be a teaching moment for "good" or a teaching moment for a bad example and role model, depending on what happens on January 6.

If Florida State wins the game and the national championship, it could also present an awkward moment for our President - who will host the traditional congratulatory visit to the White House some weeks or months afterwards.

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Comment Preferences

  •  On what basis do you believe Winston... (0+ / 0-)

    ...is a rapist?

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 04:51:29 AM PST

  •  Innocent Until Proven Guilty. (0+ / 0-)

    My understanding was that the accuser hated his girlfriend. The timing didn't help either. 11 months later when he's in the national spotlight?

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 05:17:50 AM PST

  •  This case is a legal rorschach test, you can see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton

    in it whatever your inclined to see.  

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 05:30:35 AM PST

  •  Yes. Let's pretend that there is no history (0+ / 0-)

    in this country of black men being falsely accused of rape.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 06:03:08 AM PST

  •  Let's look at what facts we seem to have... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheHalfrican, Scioto, waytac, valion

    All quotes from this article, which was written by an Orlando reporter.

    Before everyone rushes to convict Winston on their own, perhaps we should pay close attention to what has been made public:

    He [Meggs, the State Attorney] said the evidence collected did not meet the burden of proof required to get a conviction.
    If the goal is conviction, then we must be concerned with the 'beyond a reasonable doubt' standard, yes? Well, take a step back and consider the following information. I'm not arguing for or against any of these points, but merely considering where they stand on the 'reasonable doubt' scale.  In other words, it's time to think as a defense attorney.  So, in no particular order:
    Meggs said there were two DNA samples taken from the woman's underwear and the state attorney could not identify the second sample. When asked if she had sexual contact with a second party, Meggs said, "That would be a logical conclusion."
    Reasonable doubt #1. DNA from two people in the same rape kit samples? Now the prosecution is going to have to explain that; at worst, they'll have to prove that one contact was consensual and the other rape.
    Tallahassee police had countered the progress of the case was delayed because the victim was uncertain whether she would pursue charges. Meggs said it wasn't unusual for a victim to be reluctant about the case. "These are very serious cases, these are very hard cases to deal with,” Meggs said. “ … To say there was reluctance, there’s always reluctance.”
    If true, here's reasonable doubt #2.  If she waited and wavered on pressing charges while (or until) Winston became famous, that's going to create doubt in quite a few minds. It's certainly unfair, but let's face it - most people would look upon that poorly.
    He confirmed she offered conflicting accounts of the sexual assault, noting there was some "memory loss."
    Reasonable doubt #3. Those conflicting accounts will be provided to the defense, as part of the discovery process; that makes for some ugly cross-examination AND a higher burden of proof for the prosecution.
    Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, told the Orlando Sentinel on Nov. 13 the FSU quarterback denied assaulting the woman. He said he had multiple witness statements backing Winston’s account [...]
    Reasonable doubt #4.  Contradictory witnesses usually work in favor of the defense.

    Now, three of these points are independent of the Tallhassee PD's handling of the case; neither can they be dismissed by allegations of a coverup. We don't yet know whether the alleged victim waited/wavered on pursuing investigation/charges, so that one is still up in the air.

    So, you tell me - how confident are you that a conviction is likely, given the finding of multiple DNA samples, the presence of contradictory witnesses, and inconsistent testimony by the alleged victim?

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 06:52:58 AM PST

  •  How many raped women ever receive justice? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sturunner, TheHalfrican, BlackSheep1

    Singularly few. When I was researching the subject of rape for a novel, I found that the incidence of conviction for perps of stranger-to-stranger rapes was 1 percent--if the victim was under 30 years of age.

    That made me feel sick.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 07:00:39 AM PST

  •  Guilty or not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1

    I don't know whether the guy is guilty or not, but maybe the typical republican comment would suffice: "If someone is near the crime they are guilty."
    In other words if the guy put himself in a compromising position he could expect  some reaction. Not exactly consensual if the lady was drunk. And the deed was reported before the guy became a big star.

    •  I would bet the guy was drinking as well. (0+ / 0-)

      What's the standard with regards to drinking and consent?  Is one drink too many?  They calculated that she was 0.10 at the purported time of the incident .  While that would make it illegal for her to drive, would it be reasonable to think he could give consent in that condition?

      "Because I am a river to my people."

      by lordcopper on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 08:28:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Case was disaster waiting to happen if pursued (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    Drinking, partying, different versions of incident given in rapid succession, semen from at least two sources, jock in Jockville,"he said, she said". Can't tell what happened, let alone convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was guilty. Prosecutor made right call. He wasn't going to end up like that Durham County buffoon who (1) has no job, and (2) has no law license.

    •  Robe - I think you are right (0+ / 0-)

      The Duke Lacrosse rape case has made everyone more cautious. That case cost the DA his job, legal career, and a criminal conviction. The City of Durham paid out $30 million in a civil settlement with three players who were arrested and charged and Duke University reached an out of court settlement with the three players as well.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 07:34:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All rape cases are "disaster waiting to happen" (0+ / 0-)

    if pursued, when the accused is some kind of sports star.

    THIS:

    After the Florida State QB’s attorney issued a statement on Thursday claiming that his client and the accuser had consensual sex, the alleged victim’s lawyer, Patricia Carroll, released a statement saying, “To be clear, the victim did not consent. This was a rape.”

    Carroll  criticized those who pointed to a police report in which the accuser placed Winston’s height between 5-foot-9 and 5-11, saying “DNA is not 5-9 to 5-11. DNA is Jameis Winston.”

    She also mentioned that Winston’s lawyer only attempted a consensual defense after it was revealed that crime scene DNA matched his clients.

    Suggests that there's more to this story than yesterday's hi-power press conference even attempted to resolve.

    Steubenville, Ohio.
    Marysville, Missouri.
    San Antonio Texas during the 2012 Alamo Bowl "festivities" -- Jordan Hinks and Case McCoy were not charged despite a 21-year-old Texas Tech student's reporting to police and being taken to the ER within hours of a sexual assault.

    "Boys will be boys."

    I'm getting damned tired of hearing that women are always lying, always asking for it, and should NEVER be believed.

    I'm getting REALLY damned tired of hearing that football players -- from the days of the Nebraska QB who assaulted his girlfriend with an entire bank of dormitory mailboxes to this latest "no charges to be filed" whitewashing -- a word I use deliberately -- should never be held to account.
    Even the writer who understands how hard it is for a victim to come forward considers the trauma victims suffer less important than the "unfairness" of accusations against "stars".

    Damned tired. And the attitude of cops toward women who do come forward really pisses me off. Witness THIS:

    A Tallahassee Police Department detective warned the woman’s attorney that “Tallahassee was a big football town’’ and “the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable,’’ according to the statement.

    In addition to the threat about pursuing the case, the statement also alleges that detectives failed to investigate the case in a fair or timely manner, which is a maddeningly widespread problem in other sexual assault cases.
    Case McCoy and Jameis Wilson still have to play bowl games this year, and are still expected to have lucrative NFL careers later on.

    The student who came forward from Tech? Don't know what's happened to her. The one who came forward in this case? Has left school.

    Yep. Raked over the coals, and their lives ruined, because this nation still does not validate a woman's right to tell a man no.

    No. I don't want to have sex with you.

    No. I don't want to have this baby.

    No. I don't want to have to be grateful for your attention.

    No. I don't want to do the same job as a man for 2/3 or even 7/8 the same money. The work's the same. The pay should be too. So should the opportunities to advance.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 10:55:51 AM PST

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