Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Colleges

Jameis Winston not present at teammates' conduct hearing

Jameis Winston's accuser was present, but Florida State's star quarterback was not at a conduct hearing held at FSU on Tuesday, according to one of the accuser's attorneys.

The hearing centered on whether Seminole football players Chris Casher and Ronald Darby violated school policies by witnessing or, in the case of Casher, recording part of a sexual encounter between Winston and a then-student in December 2012.

The woman accused Winston of rape; Winston has said the encounter was consensual and was never arrested or charged with a crime.

"Out of respect for the confidentiality of the school's process, we will not comment on what transpired in the hearing room," one of the woman's attorneys, John Clune, said in a statement.

The Associated Press, however, obtained a copy of Casher's statement from the hearing. Casher expressed remorse for his actions and also stressed that he cooperated with police:

"I find it ironic and incredibly unfair that my honesty may now cost me my position on the football team, or even worse, my status as an FSU Student (sic). …The atmosphere of over-familiarity with my teammates and the lack of privacy bubble we lived in at the time contributed to my poor choices that night. I entered and attempted to record mostly as a joke with my friend Jameis, but I should never have assumed that his female guest would feel comfortable with my presence in the room."

Clune said he was not given a reason why Winston wasn't there Tuesday, even though he was "told by the school that Mr. Winston would be called as a witness."

Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, told AP that the reigning Heisman Trophy winner was never notified about the hearing.

The school's guidelines call for a decision to be made within 10 days.

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