Family of Winston accuser: Police warned against pursuing case

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

The family of the accuser in the Jameis Winston sexual assault investigation released a statement to the Tampa Bay Times Wednesday, accusing a Tallahassee police detective of warning the accuser that she would be "raked over the coals" if she proceeded in the case against Winston.

The statement was issued through the family's attorney to the Times as the complainant remains anonymous. Per the statement, an attorney contacted by the family after Winston was identified by the accuser in early January was told by Detective Scott Angulo that she should "think long and hard" before pursuing the case.

"When the attorney contacted Detective 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, per the Times.

Winston has neither been arrested nor charged with any crime, and his attorney, Tim Jansen, has denied all allegations concerning the Florida State star.

E-mails obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat and published Tuesday showed that the investigation into the incident had been made "inactive" in February 2013 after the complainant elected not to press charges. The case was made active again and turned over to the State Attorney's office last week, possibly due to new information in the case becoming available.

A state attorney overseeing the case questioned aspects of the Tallahassee Police Departments's handling of the investigation, telling CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler on Nov. 15 that he was surprised his office was not informed of the case after the original complaint in December 2012. He added that he had been told Jansen had been provided a complete copy of the police report, a decision he called "not good" if true.

The interaction between Tallahassee PD and Jansen also came under fire in the complainant's family's statement (a full version of which can be read here):

The attorney and Detective Angulo discussed suspending the investigation to give the victim some time to receive counseling. However, during that discussion, the attorney addressed the need for the family to obtain the DNA and blood work results to make a more informed decision ...

Thereafter, the family, through counsel, repeatedly attempted to obtain the blood work results from both Detective Angulo and the Tallahassee Police Department's victim advocate, Fawnisha Brown. At all times, the victim, the family, and counsel were available to Tallahassee Police Department and were under the impression that only law enforcement was aware of the crime.

If the victim had been aware that Winston's attorney was alerted as far back as February, she would have insisted that Tallahassee Police Department immediately collect DNA and interview, at the very least, Winston's roommate who witnessed the attack.

The victim was devastated when she learned late last week that the Tallahassee Police Department had informed Winston's attorney as far back as February, which allowed him all of this time to create his defense and prepare his witnesses. The victim cannot fathom that the State Attorney's office was not given the same opportunity.

No change is currently expected in Winston's playing status as the investigation proceeds. The No. 2 Seminoles will face Idaho on Saturday.

 
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