Nov 20, 2013 03:03 PM EST
Jameis Winston Sexual Assault Investigation NEW INFORMATION: Family of Alleged Victim Speaks Publicly For the First Time
The family of the alleged victim who named Jameis Winston as her attacker in a sexual assault claim has finally spoken, mentioning a detective who discouraged them from pursuing charges.
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The alleged victim's family released a statement exclusive to the Tampa Bay Times through their attorney and it is the first time they have commented publicly since news of the case broke. According to the statement, a Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) detective warned the alleged victim of the troubles she would face accusing Winston of sexual assault.
The alleged victim, a student at Florida State University (FSU) at the time named Winston, quarterback of the school's football team, in her report to the campus police.
"When the attorney contacted Detective (Scott) Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the 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," the family said in the statement.
Angulo reportedly told the family's attorney, not named to protect the alleged victim's identity, Tallahassee was a "a big football town" and the accuser's life would "be made miserable" if she followed through on the sexual assault claim against Winston.
The Tampa Bay Times' Matt Baker was the first to make an inquiry on the sexual assault case, based on a tip from one of his trusted sources, he recently told Deadspin.com. TMZ also caught wind of the report and published the story Nov. 13, with several other news outlets to follow.
The TPD also released a heavily redacted police report that described a sexual assault in the early hours of Dec. 7, 2012. The TPD never implicated Winston in releasing their incident report to the media; rather, he was identified by the alleged victim about a month after filing the report.
Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, said he was alerted about the investigation involving his client in February, but thought the case had since been closed. The case was then left inactive for 11 months before becoming public.
The alleged victim's family said they did not wish to make the investigation public and, for that reason, detective Angulo did not collect Winston's DNA or blood samples since he said it would make the investigation known.
The family's attorney questioned in the statement why Jansen thought the case was closed even though authorities had not spoken to Winston or collected DNA samples.
"The family was shocked to hear that Winston's attorney was not only aware of the case but had been told by Tallahassee Police Department that the case had been closed in February," the statement said. "All the while, the family was awaiting blood work results until early April."
While TMZ's report cited "law enforcement sources" who said police had interviewed Winston, Jansen said this was not true. In the 11 months since the incident report, there is nothing conclusive to suggest any law enforcement official has spoken to Winston. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, City Manager Anita Favors Thompson sent an email on Nov. 12, one day before the news broke, alerting other city officials of the case. She said the case had been categorized as open-inactive because alleged victim stopped talking to police.
The case was turned over to the state attorney's office just before the news broke, a sign that new information had come to light, causing the TPD to change the case back to open-active.
State attorney William Meggs is currently examining the case and will make his decision on how to proceed likely by the end of next week or shortly thereafter.
The family's statement also says neither they nor their attorney were responsible for the information leak that lead reporters to request the police report. They also listed several questions they believe favor their assertion the TPD did not adequately investigate the case.
According to the statement given to the Tampa Bay Times, they are as follows:
- Why was Winston not listed as the suspect in the police report when he was identified in early January?
- Why did it take Detective Angulo four months to verbally inform the family of the blood work results?
- Why didn't Detective Angulo or his superiors inform the State Attorney of the crime before the media sought a copy of the police report 11 months after the crime?