Heisman trophy winner suspended from baseball team after shoplifting citation

Heisman trophy winner suspended from baseball team after shoplifting citation

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Heisman trophy winner suspended from baseball team after shoplifting citation

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Scott Gleeson and Rachel Axon / USA Today Sports

Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin said in a statement Wednesday he has suspended pitcher and Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston from the Seminoles' baseball team "as a result of his citation" on Tuesday night.

A report by Tomahawknation.com said Winston was cited for shoplifting crab legs at a Publix grocery store in Tallahassee, Fla. The site did not attribute the report. Leon County Sheriff's Public Information Officer Lt. James McQuaig told USA TODAY Sports he would "not confirm or deny anything on Jameis Winston" before a scheduled 2 p.m. ET news conference.

RELATED: FSU under investigation for Winston rape case handling

"I am confident he will complete his community service obligation and the situation will be resolved soon," Martin said in a statement released by Florida State.

Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher said in the release, "I fully support Coach Martin's decision and will also make sure that Jameis meets all obligations, which I know he will."

Leon County Sheriff public records clerk Anita Muellei told USA TODAY Sports the "case was still being processed." Tallahassee Police Department officer David Northway said there were no records of an arrest under their jurisdiction.

Phone calls by USA TODAY Sports have not been returned by Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, or by the FSU athletics department.

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Last November The Associated Press, citing Tallahassee city records, reported Winston and teammates were questioned by police in November 2012 in regard to a BB gun battle. The AP also obtained a July 2013 record of a Burger King employee reporting to police that Winston was stealing soda from the restaurant.

Winston was accused of raping another FSU student on Dec. 7, 2012. The two met at Potbelly's the night before, and the woman rode in a taxi back to Winston's apartment according to police records.

Afterward, he drove her back to campus on his scooter, she told campus police when she reported the alleged assault within hours and had a rape kit taken.

The woman identified Winston as her attacker on Jan. 10, 2013 when she heard his name in roll call in class at the start of the spring semester. Despite that, Tallahassee police Det. Scott Angulo did not interview Winston, collect his DNA or interview teammates who were with him that night.

The case was moved to inactive on Feb. 11, 2013 with Angulo citing the woman's desire not to pursue the case.

It became a major national story in the midst of Winston's Heisman Trophy-winning season in November.

After media outlets requested documents related to the case, the state attorney's office began investigating. Winston's DNA was ultimately confirmed to be on the woman's clothing, but he has said through his attorney that the sexual encounter was consensual.

Two teammates, Chris Casher and Ronald Darby, provided sworn affidavits to that effect through Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen.

Winston was not charged criminally, but Florida State is now under investigation by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights for its handling of sexual assault cases.

The woman filed a Title IX complaint in March, and OCR opened an investigation in April. Under Title IX, schools are obligated to investigate reports of sexual assault in a prompt, thorough and impartial manner and provide equitable grievance procedures.

Guidance from the department says an investigation should typically be done within 60 days. FSU officials did not meet with Winston until late January, two weeks after FSU won a BCS national championship and more than a year after the alleged assault, an attorney for the woman confirmed.

FSU's decision not to pursue code of conduct charges was made, at least in part, based on Winston's unwillingness to answer questions on the advice of his lawyer, said one of woman's attorneys, Baine Kerr.

Casher and Darby, meanwhile, face a combined five code of conduct charges related to their witnessing – and in Casher's case, video recording – what happened.

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