Florida State Inquiry Clears Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston
The Associated Press

The state of Florida last year deemed the evidence against Jameis Winston insufficient to prosecute for rape. Florida State now deems the evidence against Jameis Winston “insufficient” to convict the quarterback of violations of the school’s code of conduct.

Retired Florida Supreme Court justice Major Hardin, appointed by FSU to oversee an inquiry into Winston’s behavior with a young woman who alleges the 2013 Heisman Trophy-winner raped her, found no conclusive evidence upon which to punish the quarterback under the school’s code of student conduct.

“In light of all the circumstances, I do not find the credibility of one story substantially stronger than that of the other,” retired Florida Supreme Court justice Major Hardin ruled. “Both have their own strengths and weaknesses. I cannot find with any confidence that the events as set forth by you, [the alleged victim], or a particular combination thereof is more probable than not as required to find you responsible for a violation of the Code.”

John Clune and Baine Kerr, attorneys for the accuser, note that their client, alone among the four witnesses, testified at the hearing and obliquely accuse FSU of protecting their star athlete. “We are stunned and dismayed by the order,” they declared in a statement. “It’s not a ‘decision’ at all but a statement that the judge couldn’t decide.”

Winston’s attorney, David Cornwell, gloated on Twitter by quoting the ruling and ridiculing his adversaries:

Jameis Winston leads Florida State against Oregon in the Rose Bowl on January 1. The victorious team plays for the national championship against the winner of Alabama-Ohio State.