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FSU Breaks Silence on Jameis Winston Case

By Jill Martin | CNN

Seeking to stem what it calls media "misinformation," Florida State University has broken what it calls its "deliberate silence" about the way it has dealt with sexual assault allegations that were raised against star football player Jameis Winston nearly two years ago -- allegations that he denies.

In an open letter sent Friday "to members of the Florida State University community" and the media, the university said it decided to share a time line of the case and the university's responses.

The reason for providing more detail, the letter stated, was "the continual drumbeat of misinformation about the University's actions (that) causes harm to our students, faculty, alumni, supporters and the FSU community as a whole."

The letter does not mention Winston by name, nor does it specify which facts of the case have been misrepresented in news reports. Previously, the university would not comment on the investigation, citing state and federal student privacy laws.

FSU is conducting a Title IX investigation concerning an allegation that Winston, sexually assaulted a woman in a Tallahassee bar in December 2012. The accuser reported the alleged assault to campus police that night, and a month later accused Winston of the alleged rape.

Police said the woman "broke off contact" with investigators in February 2013 and didn't want to go forward with the case. However, the Title IX investigation is required by law even if criminal charges were not filed.

Winston could be charged by his university for a code-of-conduct violation for sexual misconduct, depending upon the results of the school's investigation.

Meanwhile, Winston, aside from a one-game suspension earlier this season for yelling a sexually explicit remark near the school's student union, continues to play for the Seminoles, who are undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the polls. Winston won the Heisman Trophy, the award for college football's most outstanding player, while guiding the Seminoles to the national championship last season.

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Background Photo Credit: Kasia Broussalian © 2015