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Is Jameis Winston a Rape Victim?

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The American justice system is supposed to work where one is innocent until proven guilty. However, that is rarely the case. Rape is a crime that makes people feel horrible about themselves. Victims frequently blame the problem on themselves and fear that they will be judged by the community. That is why the victim’s name tends to remain anonymous throughout the case. However, the accused perpetrator’s name is released immediately and speculation about them begins right away. People judge them, ignore them, and question their integrity. I am not debating how serious the crime of rape is. However, it is estimated that over half of all rape allegations are false. That means that over half of the accused perpetrators being judged are actually innocent. The extent to which an accused perpetrator is judged increases significantly in high profile cases involving celebrities and athletes.

Jameis Winston couldn’t have started off his collegiate football career any better. The Seminoles were undefeated and had just dismantled the Third ranked Clemson Tigers in Death Valley. Jameis Winston had become the clear favorite to win the coveted Trophy. He was on top of the world. Then suddenly a rape allegation came out. He quickly went from being one of the most loved college athletes to one of the most questioned. He lost a significant chunk of his fans and much of the world went from cheering for him to despising him. The Seminoles quickly regained the nick name the crimiNOLES and Jameis was given the title “Rapist”.

Last December Willie Meggs decided not to press criminal charges against Jameis Winston. He did not feel there was near enough evidence to even possibly convict Jameis Winston of a crime. Now let me get this straight, I cannot tell you what happened between Jameis and his accuser. All we know is that they did have sex (Winston’s DNA was found on the accuser). However, there is a significant difference between consensual sex and rape. After reading over all of the evidence and the police report I can confidently say that I understand why Meggs decided not to press charges. There was zero evidence that a rape had taken place. Winston’s roommates saw part of the encounter (they were dealt with separately) and said that the encounter between Winston and the accuser was consensual and that she was not impaired. Although his teammates may have a bias, the accuser’s friends also supported the fact that she was not drunk when she left Potbelly’s (a popular Tallahassee bar) for Winston’s apartment. To further support this, toxicology reports determined that she was capable of making a decision on whether or not to engage in intercourse. The accuser’s claim that she hardly remembered anything about both leaving the bar and the events that took place after does not have any evidence to back it up. The accuser’s attorney also stated that her client would never sleep with a “black boy”. However, she was actually dating a black male at the time and his semen was also found on her shorts at the hospital. I am not going to speculate reasons that the accuser would file a false rape claim because I cannot say without a doubt that she was not raped. However, I can confidently say that there was not near enough evidence to charge Jameis Winston with a crime. However, he received a life sentence for the term “rapist” being associated with his name.

Let’s hypothetically say that Jameis Winston is in fact innocent. Think about everything that has been taken from him due to the rape claim. He lost the respect of millions of people around the country. His draft stock went down significantly. He is looked upon as if he is one of the worst people in the country. And don’t tell me that he got caught stealing crab legs so he deserves it. This is a petty crime. I am not saying it was a smart decision or that he shouldn’t be remotely scrutinized for it but many athletes have committed much more serious crimes and not received near the hatred Winston has drawn. For example, while at the University of Florida, Cam Newton stole a fellow students laptop. He was kicked out of the university but no one seems to acknowledge his crime. Jameis isn’t despised by many because he is a “thief”. He is despised because he is “rapist”. Due to this label, if Jameis is actually innocent, he endures many of the same issues that rape victims suffer from. He is judged. He feels violated. He doesn’t understand why something like this would happen to him. And worst of all, he has to deal with the repercussions of this event for the rest of his life.

Again, I am not saying that Jameis Winston did not rape the accuser. However, make sure you do your research before you label someone a “rapist”. You don’t want to accidentally “rape” an innocent person.

-Samuel Erb

0 Responses to Is Jameis Winston a Rape Victim?

  1. Profile photo of Caleb Boone

    Caleb Boone

    November 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Great article Sam! I am in the same boat as you where I feel that at this point in his career and his history, people just like to pile on and assume he is guilty instead of letting the judicial process take its course.

    I understand this is not a football issue at all and much larger than that, but how soon do you think he goes in the draft after all of these allegations? At the end of last year, I think if he was able to come out he would have been #1. Now, I wonder how many teams pass up on his just because he seems very immature and is always in the news. In the end, I don’t think he drops too much because in the NFL, if you have a QB, you win. Talent wins out in most cases!

  2. Profile photo of Sam Erb

    Sam Erb

    November 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks! I appreciate your comment. I believe
    Winston is still the best QB in the draft. Although
    his stats don’t show this, his wide receivers
    haven’t helped him much at all. I don’t think he
    will be the number 1 pick anymore but I would
    be shocked if he drops out of the first round.

  3. Profile photo of Berk Gencer

    Berk Gencer

    November 28, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    You really think he is the best QB in the draft? I liked the article btw, well written and an interesting take on it all. It’s true once the media labels you one way even if you are proven innocent or their isn’t enough proof, the way the public see and judges you can be an extreme punishment in its own way. I’m personally not a huge fan of his, both on and off the field, but he will get his chance in the NFL, and as with a lot of other athletes, if he can be great on the field and humble off it, his reputation will be restored and his past mostly forgotten. Time will tell. In the mean time maybe just stay off the lunch tables and out of the crab leg aisle….

  4. Profile photo of Sam Erb

    Sam Erb

    November 29, 2014 at 7:31 am

    I appreciate the feedback Berk! I agree he has made some very immature decisions but yes talent wise I think he is the best on the board. He doesn’t have a true big target to throw it up to like he did last year with Benjamin. He should get that back in the NFL. Also, many of the ” mistakes”he has made this year are due to inexperience with true freshman wide outs. Last year may hace been Winston’s first year as a starter, however, he still practiced with those receivers his entire red shirt year. It all just takes time.

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