Florida State has started a mandatory leadership class for freshman athletes, and it includes discussion about rape. And the person serving as the guest instructor for that class, the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday, is FSU Police Chief David Perry. You might remember him as the guy who was accused of giving his university and Winston an 11-month head start on the sexual assault allegations, before prosecutors officially got the file from police.
Perry’s department did not conduct the Winston investigation, but he was involved. From Kinsman’s lawsuit (Baker refers to Times reporter Matt Baker, who was checking with police on a tip that Winston was under investigation):
Instead of sending the reports to Baker, the Tallahassee Police instructed its records chief, Michael Courtemanche (“Courtemanche”), to send the records to FSU—specifically to FSU Police Chief Perry—despite the absence of any law enforcement purpose for doing so.
Chief Perry received the Winston reports with an email about Baker at 3:41 p.m. on Friday, November 8, 2013. Chief Perry asked Courtemanche for Baker’s background.
At 8:53 p.m. that day, Chief Perry forwarded the investigation reports and information about Baker to Bonasorte.
The next morning, Saturday, November 9, 2013, more emails were sent from the Tallahassee Police to FSU Police Chief Perry and forwarded to Bonasorte in the FSU Athletics Department. Bonasorte asked his Sports Information Director to research Baker’s background.
At 11:34 a.m. that Saturday, Bonasorte emailed Chief Perry “I will talk to Jimbo,” referring to head FSU football coach James “Jimbo” Fisher.
Shortly thereafter, those same police reports provided to Bonasorte were provided to Winston’s criminal defense lawyer, Jansen.
Jansen used his head-start on the State Attorney’s Office to coordinate Winston’s teammates – Casher and Darby – as eye witnesses before prosecutors even learned there was an investigation.
... Only after the FSU Police, FSU Athletics Department, FSU Administration, and Jansen had received their copies of the police reports did Tallahassee Police Sgt. Joanna Baldwin authorize the release of the Winston file to the State Attorney’s Office, which occurred at 3:30 p.m. on November 12, 2013.
Perry also came up in the deposition of Melissa Ashton, who at the time was in charge of Florida State’s victim advocate program. She was deposed as part of Kinsman’s lawsuit and described how poorly accusations of sexual assault and domestic violence against football players, not just Winston, were handled. In a summary included in the recent Times story, Ashton also talked specifically about Perry’s involvement with the Winston case.
[Ashton] said under oath that Perry called the dean of students’ office angrily after learning that Winston was being investigated by the school in a code of conduct complaint.
He was upset, she said, that Kinsman was told another student had accused Winston of assault, information that led Kinsman to move forward with her complaint.
After Perry contacted the dean, the school stopped pursuing the case against Winston, and on Nov. 12, 2013, the dean emailed Perry to let him know.
The next day, Nov. 13, Perry joked in an email about designing a new university police badge: “Cool—I really want to work on a National Championship Police Badge!!”
So what did Perry tell FSU athletes in his lecture about rape and sexual assault? Through a spokesman, he declined the Times’s request to watch the class. When the newspaper filed a public records request for any course material from that day, all they got were items on “social media use and financial literacy.”
Perry later told the newspaper that he spoke off the cuff for 45 minutes, without notes or handouts or worksheets, about “responsibility.” He gave examples like reminding them that women have the right to say no and they have to respect that; telling them that “alcohol is not an excuse”; and advice on what to do if they saw a woman hitting someone.
He said he advised the athletes to be careful not to leave bruises on a woman, lest they be charged with assault.
“Say a 6-foot-5 athlete is now being hit by his girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend, who’s crazy and who’s harassing him, and she won’t stop. What would you do?” Perry said he posed to the room.
“I’d probably grab her and hold her,” one of the athletes responded.
“I told him, ‘You’re a big guy. If you hold her and you have to use force, you’re likely to what?’ He said, ‘You’re right, I’d likely leave marks and bruises.’”
As for what, if anything, he said about the Jameis Winston case, the Times story notes that “Perry became angry this week when asked about his credentials to teach the class. He was furious at the mention of Winston.”