Jameis Winston's Teammates Who Witnessed Alleged Sexual Assault Will Not Be Expelled or Kicked Off TeamBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
Florida State University (FSU) confirmed it has finished its student conduct code probe for Chris Casher and Ronald Darby and neither will face expulsion or dismissal from the football team.
A school spokesman confirmed Thursday to the Associated Press the conclusion of the student conduct code investigation. Casher and Darby were accused of violations such as invasion of privacy, intimidating or hostile conduct and filming images without consent.
Casher and Darby both witnessed a sexual act between FSU star quarterback Jameis Winston and a woman who alleged the incident was assault. Through his attorney, Winston has maintained the act was consensual, while the woman is following through on legal action against Winston, the school and the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD).
Casher faced an additional charge Darby did not for filming the sexual encounter between Winston and the woman. Casher, a defensive end on the FSU football team, later deleted what he filmed, leading to the charge of recording images without consent.
"It was a little surprising that both were not held responsible, but that is the panel's discretion and she did feel as though the panel took their job seriously," John Clune, the woman's attorney, wrote in a statement. "All that our client wanted was for the process to take place and these issues at Florida State not continue to be swept under the rug."
Still, Clune told the AP his client was "generally satisfied" with the results. While neither will face
Unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday that Casher was found responsible on two of the three conduct code violations he was accused. FSU deemed he was guilty of an invasion of privacy and recording images without consent, but it still did not warrant a suspension. Darby was found not responsible on both his charges: intimidating/hostile conduct and invasion of privacy, the sources said.
The school would not confirm the details of the conduct code probe for privacy reasons, but the unnamed sources told the Journal Casher will be placed on probation for a year.
The ruling does not have much of an impact on Winston, as he did not testify at the hearing for his two teammates. Winston is still named in his accuser's lawsuit, which also calls out the TPD and FSU for mishandling her initial complaint. The TPD left the case open, but un-investigated for close to a year before handing it over to the State Attorney, who then concluded he could not pursue criminal charges against Winston.
Attorneys for both Casher and Darby said in public comments their clients were pleased for the conduct code hearings to be concluded.