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ABC: Accuser plans civil suit against FSU's Winston

Jameis Winston led Florida State to the BCS national championship Monday.
Jameis Winston led Florida State to the BCS national championship Monday.
Published Jan. 9, 2014

The attorney for the woman who accused Jameis Winston of sexual assault told ABC News she "absolutely" plans to file a civil lawsuit against the Florida State quarterback and the Tallahassee Police Department.

"I want heads to roll," Pat Carroll, a Pasco County attorney, told ABC News in an exclusive interview.

The accuser, a 19-year-old Pasco resident who attended Florida State, said she was raped at an off-campus apartment Dec. 7, 2012, in Tallahassee. She identified Winston in January 2013, but the Tallahassee police investigation stalled.

Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, denied any wrongdoing by his client and said the sex was consensual.

State Attorney Willie Meggs became involved in November when the case became public after inquiries from the Tampa Bay Times and others asked about it. Meggs ended his investigation Dec. 5, concluding there wasn't sufficient evidence to charge Winston.

Carroll told ABC the police mishandled the investigation, which led to the prosecutor dropping the case.

"Absolutely you're going to see a civil suit," Carroll told the network. "You cannot have law enforcement that is not held accountable."

She added: "The family is proceeding, with civil action against the TPD and Jameis Winston. And possibly the university."

Tallahassee police spokesman David Northway said the department is aware of the attorney's statement but continues to decline making any further comments on the case.

Carroll said Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman told her the accuser shouldn't return to campus out of concern for her safety. Cappleman told ABC she didn't recall giving such a warning and didn't have an opinion on the issue.

Winston led Florida State to the BCS national championship Monday, the 20th birthday of the redshirt freshman.

Times staff writer Tia Mitchell contributed to this report.