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Florida State under investigation by Feds

Reports: Feds Open FSU Inquiry

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State University is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for possible Title IX violations in its response to sexual violence complaints.

USA Today first reported the investigation by the Office for Civil Rights. It stems from a complaint filed with it by the accuser in quarterback Jameis Winston's sexual assault case.

No charges were filed by State Attorney Willie Meggs against the Heisman trophy winner.

"Our client is particularly gratified by the OCR's decision to investigate and look for discrimination and find remedies to it," the accuser's lawyer Baine Kerr said, "because her primary goal, from the beginning, has been affecting change that will make women at Florida State safer on campus."

Winston was accused of sexual assault from an incident in Dec. 2012. Police decided not to press charges in Dec. 2013. The OCR will investigate all sexual assault complaints at the university during the last three years.

The accuser received a letter from the university in February stating that it met with Winston on Jan. 23 to investigate possible Code of Conduct violations. Winston led the Seminoles to the national championship on Jan. 6.

"We can confirm that we have been notified of the OCR investigation; however, due to federal and state privacy laws the university cannot comment," university spokesman Browning Brooks said in a statement.

The OCR tells schools that "Conduct may constitute unlawful sexual harassment under Title IX even if the police do not have sufficient evidence of a criminal violation. In addition, a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual violence does not relieve the school of its duty under Title IX to resolve complaints promptly and equitably."

It is unclear if the accuser will pursue a civil case against Winston or the university. Her family accused the Tallahassee Police Department of delaying the investigation and discouraging her from going forward with the case because of the public attention it would receive. Tallahassee police have defended their handling of the case.

A civil case can still be filed after the OCR investigation.

The woman told police she had been drinking at a bar with friends and went home with a man she didn't know. She said the alleged assault took place at an off-campus apartment, but she couldn't remember where it was.

A month later, she identified her alleged attacker as the quarterback. Winston's attorney Tim Jansen said the sex was consensual.

Kerr confirmed a Deadspin.com report that football players Chris Casher and Ronald Darby were recently charged with violations of the school's Code of Conduct. Both Casher and Darby told police they witnessed the sex between the Winston and the accuser. Casher told police that he attempted to join, but was told to leave by the accuser.

Punishments under the code include expulsion from the school. Darby is a starting cornerback on the team.

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loamylam April 04 2014 at 6:57 AM

Every time a sports figure is accused of sexual assault it is swept under the rug and high dollar legal experts run to their aid. No wonder America is heading more and more towards ruin. They have forfeited their moral and spiritual values in order to pamper thugs. Without these values a downward spiral is inevitable and we are seeing it occur right before our eyes. Yet, those who could correct this ruin seem bent on promoting it. Corporate control invades all aspects of life and these are the results. A failed society.

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daxx0220 April 04 2014 at 10:16 AM

The Heisman committee members that voted for this guy ignored a squeeky clean, modern day hero like AJ McCarron; a senior with unprecedented credentials and proven talent. The Heisman committees have honored so many extraordinary athletes in the past have now diminished the award to the criteria of "on the field only" character. Now when parents see their son doing the Heisman pose, they are alarmed, because it is now equivalent to the infamous "one finger." This year's committee has taken the "honor" away from the award.

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1 reply
acameronjr daxx0220 April 04 2014 at 10:24 AM

Tell the white girls in college to stop hunting long Don young gifted and Black Guys that play sports. There is no thrill on the Hill when they are through with you. You can't take them home! By the way, she was mad because he left her to go see his Black Girl Friend. Sorry, Black Berrys have sweeter Juice. Keep your legs closed Missy.

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geeszabs April 04 2014 at 11:02 AM

JUST ANOTHER GHETTO PUNK

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bstj44 April 04 2014 at 7:21 AM

Universities are big businesses now and college football is a bigger business.

I hope this is the start of federal prosecution of the appropriate criminals.

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1 reply
amybeth23456 bstj44 April 04 2014 at 8:12 AM

Florada teams get by with so much. Girl who claimed rape didnt even get a hearing - they do much more there too

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joeypad April 04 2014 at 7:05 AM

fsu is so football minded that anything their big heros do is swept under the rug..biggest bunch of ahos

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storytellerjmc April 04 2014 at 11:25 AM

And here's the latest comment from the NCAA, which is on top of the situation -
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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rcpaf83 April 04 2014 at 11:40 AM

More waste of taxpayer $$$$ !!!! Since the Feds are involved this will go nowhere, again.... If Obama had a son he would look just like Jameis Winston !! And he would also be a Heisman Trophy winner.....

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Charlie April 04 2014 at 12:03 PM

This is not a race issue but an issue of big time college sports ruling the administration of colleges and universarities. Big time college sports have the power to rule over the legal systems as was witnessed in this case where the legal system ignored the victim's claim of rape for months without doing an investigation into the crime. So now we find that the school also ignored their own legal system to avoid this clown losing out on getting a trophy and the school playing for a national championship. This is a perfect example of why sports should not be ruling our schools but education should be the primary goal of all schools at all levels.

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theyardguy07 April 04 2014 at 11:59 AM

i'm sure that he is not an English major... does he know that there is such a work as .....ARE....
we gona win, even try we is going to win.... take a English course while at FSU.. try something other than rapen white women. I agree, if he had been a white qb with a black rape victim. it would be the only thing on CNN, NBC, CBS. AND ABC

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1 reply
Michele theyardguy07 April 04 2014 at 1:48 PM

LOL. How true. If not for football he probably would be the FSU maintenance person.

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Charlie April 04 2014 at 12:02 PM

With the way this country treats its sports and movie star's does anyone really think that anything will go against them even if they are at fault ,when did playing a game or making a movie become more important than education or living life without persecution. I think its sick how this country treats its so called (STARS)

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