Jameis Winston is the Heisman-candidate quarterback of the #2 Florida State Seminoles. Last week, a previously inactive criminal sexual assault investigation involving Winston was reopened, initially without explanation. Today, an ESPN.com story cites research by the Tallahassee Democrat revealing that the initial investigation stalled after the alleged victim “changed her mind and did not wish to prosecute.”
Without knowing more about the case, and few do, there are a number of reasons and combinations of reasons why the alleged victim might have “changed her mind” and decided she “did not wish to prosecute.” One is that her allegations were not true. Another, which can arise in the college football setting (as illustrated with particularity in The System, a book I pre-reviewed and hope to review in full soon), is that the alleged victim felt pressure not to go forward with a sexual-assault prosecution of a major college athlete. Maybe she even felt fear. It wouldn’t be the first time.
That today’s story at least raises the specter of that second reason– and some would say it’s the obvious implication (the headline on the front page of ESPN.com tonight has fluctuated between “Official: Woman at first wary of Winston charge” and “Official: Woman didn’t want Winston Charged“)– makes the advertising on the side of the page at least questionable. (You can click the image to expand it.)