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Feds investigate Winston case at Florida State

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Apr 04 2014 08:49:39 AM CDT
Florida State QB Jameis Winston, November 2013

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The federal government is looking into Florida State's handling of the sexual assault allegation that was made last year by a female student against Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston.

FOX Sports reported Thursday that the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights is attempting to determine whether the case was dealt with "promptly and equitably" based on Title IX, the federal gender-equity law mandates that schools investigate sexual assault cases and act in accordance with the findings.

A Florida State student alleged that she was raped by Winston at an off-campus apartment on Dec. 7, 2012. Winston's attorneys said the encounter was consensual.

In a case that drew national attention last fall while the Seminoles were on the way to a BCS national championship and Winston to winning the Heisman, he was not charged after an investigation by the office of the state's attorney.

Winston and other unidentified incidents are part of the federal probe, according to a letter acquired by FOX Sports.

A Florida State spokeswoman told FOX that the university could not comment because of federal student privacy laws but was apprised of the investigation.

According to guidelines, the federal probe should take about 60 days to complete. If investigators conclude that Florida State acted in an improper manner, it will assist the school in conducting another investigation.

If the university fails to cooperate, it could face a lawsuit that would attempt to keep the school from receiving federal funds.

"We're gratified by these developments," said Baine Kerr, an attorney for the woman who alleges that Winston raped her.

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