Whenever a celebrity athlete is accused of sexually assaulting a woman, it doesn't take long for the media machine to declare him guilty. It's happening to Florida State University star quarterback Jameis Winston, who stands accused of raping a Tampa Bay-area woman December 7, 2012. The alleged victim, who attended FSU, claims she didn't know the identity of her attacker until a month later, when she identified him as Winston.

The truth is never black-and-white in sexual battery scandals involving star players.

Her family alleges the Tallahassee Police Department tried to sweep the investigation away to protect Winston, a Heisman Trophy contender who could lead the Seminoles to a national championship. State prosecutors will soon decide whether to file sexual assault charges against Winston.

However, the truth is never black-and-white in sexual battery scandals involving star players. In 1996, the Dallas Cowboys' Michael Irvin and Erik Williams were accused by a woman named Nina Shahravan of video-recording her while they held a gun to her head and raped her. She fabricated the entire story, recanted it, and eventually pleaded guilty to perjury and filing a false police report. Eleven years later, another woman accused Irvin of sexually assaulting her at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. Prosecutors declined to file charges after reviewing the case. He sued her for defamation. They settled out of court in 2010.

And let's not forget Crystal Mangum, who in 2006 falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of raping her. The case fell apart when DNA evidence failed to tie Mangum to any of the 46 white players on the team. She eventually recanted her statement and said she was not sure she had been raped, although she insisted some sort of sexual assault had taken place.

In Winston's case, his DNA matched evidence collected in the apartment where the alleged rape took place. However, his attorney has asserted Winston had consensual sex with her. His lawyer also told the Tallahassee Democrat he's provided law enforcement with two affidavits from witnesses present that night who defend Winston.

Maybe investigators quickly figured out her story wasn't adding up. What if this girl is not being honest about knowing Winston? He deserves the benefit of the doubt just as much as his accuser. It's only fair.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

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8 comments
jwp_jwp
jwp_jwp

"...........

I always wondered what went on inside girls' heads when that was happening to them.

Afterward, most girls were too ashamed and freaked out to tell.

They knew that if they snitched to the cops, the thing would become public news and their name would be mud. But every now and then, some chick squealed, and somebody caught a charge.

Then guys got their buddies to go to court and testify that the girl was a footloose ho whom they each had boned.

........."


MAKES ME WANNA HOLLER by Nathan McCall [born 1955]


Prof Afro Am studies-Emory U. Published 1994 page 44


wouter.dito
wouter.dito

Role model Winston just screwed a drunk student.he did not know without regard to whether she was consenting and then let the University and a lawyer speak for him. Give him the Heisman and an Academy Award. He is surely a better actor than OJ SIMPSON.

Bob_Marley
Bob_Marley

Finally, reasoning and sanity amidst knee jerk reactionaries who would convict a young man and destroy his career on the word of a young woman whose family has, at the least, viciously tried the case in the court of public opinion and knowingly destroyed evidence. None of this should have been made public until when and if charges were filed. No one, most particularly the online media which will print anything (Winston steals coke) to increase readership, seems to care who it hurts or even if it's true. Inflammatory is the byword. Forget the Constitutional right of innocence until found guilty by a jury of peers. In years past a man couldn't be convicted of rape because the system targeted the victim as a slut who was asking for it. Now the tables are turned and women can cry rape and the man is guilty before evidence is even gathered. Anyone who says otherwise is said to promote a culture of rape. It's time we wake up and realize that the opposite of a culture of rape is not a culture of justice; it's a culture of vigilantism.

joedon1980
joedon1980

Nice work Luke . An honest even handed article from a card carrying member of the media , who would have thought it . The worst part about this whole deal is that because of the ongoing investigation , Jameis hasn't been able to publicly defend himself . He's actually being hurt by being respectful of the process and allowing the investigation to run its course before commenting . 

The accuser's family has been disrespectful of the process issuing statements  and (allegedly) leaking information in order to slander Winston in the court of public opinion before he has his day in court to defend himself . That's not fair to Winston or to our system of justice . 

drillndown
drillndown

Wow, you Luthar are the first journalist I have seen that put out an article calling for an unbiased and patient approach to this on-going investigation.  Congrats.  You will be one of the few that doesn't have to print an apology next week when the facts come out.                (ha, who am I kidding?? none of the media that has tried to cyber-lynch Jameis are going to print apologies)

sissy
sissy

@drillndown Apparently, you have not read very many articles if Luther "As Nasty as They Wanna Be" Campbell" is the "first journalist" you have come across to offer an "unbiased and patient approach to this on-going investigation." While you're posting, you should probably try reading (and by reading, I don't mean other folks' posts).

drillndown
drillndown

@sissy @drillndown His was the first I have read, and still have seen no others after searching for 2 weeks.

Note: now that Meggs has laid out the facts of the case for everyone, I am sure there will be a lot of backtracking journalists out there trying to get their foot out of their mouth.

in2it_8
in2it_8

@sissy @drillndown Please provide links to these other stories or columns, Sissy, as I honestly haven't run across them. Thanks.

 
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