I know that Jameis Winston is an overly entitled jackass, who is damn lucky that Florida State has sold it’s soul to keep him eligible for the chance at a second straight National Championship.
I do not know if what happened between him and that young woman was rape.
In fact, I’d say nobody will ever know the full truth, except the two of them.
That said, for anybody still in the dark about how utterly insane the current anti-rape climate is on college campuses, here’s a story about Nerdy Virgin Rower Boy (the furthest prototype to Jameis Winston on the “Big Jock on Campus” you can get) being bum rushed out of Vassar College by a similar “tribunal” that Winston is facing in Tallahassee.
I’d say these things are “Kangaroo Courts” but that would be an insult….. to Kangaroo Courts, which at least have certain rules that are known to all participants, not to mention the fact they give you a chance to present and challenge each other’s facts and evidence.
You can read the whole sad tale here, but if you want the cliff notes version it goes like this.
Peter Yu and Mary Claire Walker were on the rowing team together. Peter and Mary got drunk one night. Started snogging each other at the bar. She ends up taking his virginity back in the dorm rooms, but doesn’t want a relationship. They exchange pleasant emails and Facebook messages in the days and weeks afterward. Then she hits him with a formal complaint on the last day possible, almost a year later. His case is heard by a panel of three Vassar staff members, and he’s promptly expelled.
Mary’s dad is a professor at Vassar.
Oh sure, that sounds fair.
Meanwhile, the website Minding the Campus (Reforming Our Universities) details even further how Kafkaesque these “tribunals” can be at some colleges.
Vassar has an extraordinarily broad definition of what constitutes sexual violence–which according to the college can range anywhere from rape to “treating the victim and other people as objects via . . . remarks” or “insisting on dressing or not dressing in a certain ways.” In the event, IVP “panelists will have received specialized training with respect to these issues.”
Neither Vassar’s website nor the student handbook contains hints of what this “specialized training” entails. But the one university for which details about this sort of “specialized training” have been made public–at Stanford, thanks to legwork from FIRE–the results were chilling. (Stanford’s was the training that suggested college adjudicators should interpret an accused student who presented his defense logically and persuasively as a sign of guilt.)
Much like the Harris complaint at St. Joe’s–which credibly claims that, in what was perhaps an abuse of the preponderance-of-evidence threshold, the university’s hearings panel ignored or excessively downplayed highly exculpatory text messages between Harris and his accuser–the Yu complaint suggests that Vassar essentially dismissed numerous Facebook messages between Walker and Yu in which Walker discussed the evening, apologized to Yu, and at one point invited him to dinner at her home. The complaint notes that Walker testified that she sent messages out of fear of Yu.
The complaint doesn’t specify the grounds upon which Yu was found guilty, although it appears as if issues of alcohol and consent played a role. In that respect, Walker’s filing on the day the college statute of limitations expired is highly suspicious. If, according to Vassar, Walker was too inebriated to give consent, presumably Yu could have made an identical claim against Walker, since both parties had consumed alcohol that evening. But by filing on the deadline, Walker ensured that Yu wouldn’t have any opportunity to file a counter-claim of sexual assault based on inability to give consent. Another note: since Walker never received a medical exam after the alleged incident, there appears to be no evidence of her (or Yu’s) state of inebriation on the night in question.
So if Jameis Winston ends up getting kicked out of school after this, don’t expect me to do some snoopy dance. Do I think he’s the kind of person who would ABSOLUTELY run through a woman’s expressions (verbal or otherwise) of “we’ve gone far enough” (hell, look at how he ignored his 1 game suspension and suited up anyway, to Jimbo Fisher’s flabbergastment… is that a word?)
But I don’t know if that’s what really happened and I have no faith in this “tribunal” or any of the others around college campuses, to deliver anything that’s even within 4 touchdowns of “justice”.
It’s almost like the old Soviet style of “justice” in which they would say to the accused: “You are guilty of this crime. Now, is there any other crimes you would like to admit to at this time, and are there any family members you wish to implicate in your guilt?”
Good luck Jameis. You’ll need it.