Timeline of Jameis Winston investigation

Jameis Winston has been cleared of sexual assault accusations and possible violations of Florida State's code of conduct, a retired judge ruled Sunday. [Getty Images]
Jameis Winston has been cleared of sexual assault accusations and possible violations of Florida State's code of conduct, a retired judge ruled Sunday. [Getty Images]
Published December 21 2014
Updated December 22 2014

Here's a timeline of what has happened since news broke in November 2013 that Florida State star quarterback Jameis Winston was a suspect in a sexual assault. Information compiled through police accounts, statements from attorneys, the State Attorney's Office and media reports from the Associated Press, ESPN and the Tallahassee Democrat:

DEC. 7, 2012

A woman is offered a shot of alcohol by an unknown person at a Tallahassee bar before leaving in a cab, according to the Tallahassee Police Department. She claims to have been assaulted at an apartment between 1:30 and 2 a.m. FSU police get a call and refer the off-campus incident case to Tallahassee police, who arrive at 4:10 a.m. The woman is interviewed, and evidence is collected using a rape kit. The police begin investigating and ask an assistant state attorney to help obtain phone records.

JAN. 10, 2013

The woman identifies Winston as a suspect. An investigator schedules a meeting with her, according to Tallahassee police.

JAN. 11, 2013

Dade City attorney Patricia Carroll tells Tallahassee police that all contact with the accuser should go through her. The scheduled interview with the woman does not occur, according to Tallahassee police.

JAN. 15, 2013

All evidence is sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to be processed.

JAN. 23, 2013

Winston declines an interview with police through his attorney, Tim Jansen.

FEB. 11, 2013

Tallahassee police change the case from open and active to open and inactive. "

FEB. 22 AND MARCH 29, 2013

Tallahassee police receive toxicology reports from FDLE and relay them to Carroll. Carroll said she does not receive them until April 4 and that the blood work showed the woman was not intoxicated.

AUG. 27, 2013

FDLE gives its rape kit analysis to Tallahassee police.

SEPT. 2, 2013

Winston finishes 25-of-27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns in his first start for FSU, a 41-13 win at Pitt. He soon becomes a Heisman front-runner.

NOV. 8, 2013

The Tampa Bay Times requests a copy of the Tallahassee police's incident report from Dec. 7.

NOV. 11, 2013

TMZ requests a copy of the incident report.

NOV. 12, 2013

Tallahassee police forward the case to the State Attorney's Office, which cannot review it until the next morning. Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors Thompson tells city officials about the case because it could draw national attention. Her emails, later obtained by the Democrat, say Winston is under investigation after a woman reported she was taken advantage of while intoxicated but later stopped communicating with authorities.

NOV. 13, 2013

Tallahassee police release the incident report to the media. Although Winston is not named in it, TMZ reports he is the suspect. Jansen says Winston did nothing wrong and that two witnesses will corroborate his claim. The State Attorney's Office begins its inquiry into a case that has been reactivated because of new information. State Attorney Willie Meggs is critical of police for waiting so long to give the case to his office.

NOV. 14, 2013

Winston voluntarily provides a DNA swab to authorities.

NOV. 20, 2013

The woman's family releases a statement through Carroll, alleging that Tallahassee police warned their attorney that the woman's life "will be made miserable" if she proceeded in the case and that they refused to collect Winston's DNA immediately after he was identified. Just before midnight, ESPN reports that Winston's DNA matched a sample taken from the woman's underwear on Dec. 7.

NOV. 21, 2013

Jansen says that the sex was consensual and that has always been Winston's defense.

NOV. 22, 2013

In a statement, the family reiterates that the woman was raped.

NOV. 27, 2013

Jansen meets with Meggs to try to speed up a resolution because the delay could jeopardize Winston's shot at the Heisman. Tallahassee police respond to questions about their tactics by releasing a timeline of their investigation.

DEC. 5, 2013

Meggs says Winston will not face prosecution for sexual assault — and no one else faces charges. The case is closed.

DEC. 13, 2013

Carroll holds a 90-minute news conference calling for the Attorney General's Office to investigate the Tallahassee Police Department and their handling of the case.

DEC. 14, 2013

Winston receives the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the top player in college football.

JAN. 6, 2014

Winston leads FSU to the national championship title with a 34-31 win over Auburn.

JAN. 24, 2014

Winston meets with FSU's Title IX investigators.

FEB. 14, 2014

Winston's accuser hires Title IX attorneys John Clune and Baine Kerr to explore a suit against FSU under federal anti-discrimination guidelines.

MAY 20, 2014

Winston's teammates, Chris Casher and Ronald Darby, attend a university conduct hearing. Casher and Darby had previously admitted to police that they had seen at least part of the sexual encounter, and Casher later told police that he had recorded part of the incident on his phone but deleted it. Winston does not attend the hearing. Darby is later cleared of any misconduct, while Casher is put on disciplinary probation until summer 2015.

AUG. 7, 2014

FSU interviews Winston's accuser about the sexual assault allegations. This is a first step in reexamining a Title IX investigation.

SEPT. 5, 2014

FSU sends a letter to Winston's advisor, NFL lawyer David Cornwell, asking to interview Winston.

SEPT. 17, 2014

Winston suspended for one half — it becomes a full-game suspension two days later — against Clemson for making sexually explicit remarks on campus.

SEPT. 23, 2014

Cornwell sends a letter to FSU saying Winston will cooperate with the university's investigation, but has concerns about the way it's been handled. Cornwell claims Carroll demanded $7 million to settle potential claims against FSU, the Tallahassee Police Department and Winston. Clune, the Title IX lawyer, contends Cornwell is the one who contacted Carroll about a possible settlement.

OCT. 10, 2014

FSU sends a letter to supporters outlining its actions, including support for the accuser. The letter says the school's Title IX administrators didn't learn about the case until just before it became public in November 2013. FSU also says the woman declined multiple attempts to interview her about the allegations.

Later that day, FSU informs both sides that a retired judge will preside over a university code of conduct hearing. That third-party official will decide whether Winston was responsible for violating up to four parts of the school's honor code.

NOV. 4, 2014

The university's code of conduct hearing is scheduled for the first time, for the week of Nov. 17, with former Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding hearing the case.

NOV. 12, 2014

The first delay postpones the hearing until the week of Dec. 1. It is later pushed back one more day.

DEC. 2, 2014

Day 1 of the university code of conduct hearing begins in a second-floor conference room in an engineering building. Testimony lasts about five hours, with Winston and the woman in separate rooms the whole time.

DEC. 3, 2014

The hearing concludes after at least seven more hours of testimony. Winston read a statement giving his account of the encounter but said he would not answer other questions. Cornwell accuses the woman and her attorneys of a "shakedown" in pursuit of a civil lawsuit. Clune said Cornwell and the truth are not "very close friends." The judge asks both parties to file legal papers the next week. Clune says he expects a decision within the next two or three weeks.

DEC. 21, 2014

Harding clears Winston of all FSU conduct code charges