Williams subject to Title IX inquiry

ByMark Schlabach ESPN logo
Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tallahassee Police Department officials intend to continue their domestic assault investigation of Florida State running back Karlos Williams, according to The Associated Press, and Williams might face a Title IX investigation by the school even if police drop the case.

Williams, the No. 2 Seminoles' leading rusher, was accused of physically assaulting his ex-girlfriend, who is the mother of his infant son and pregnant with their second child. On Wednesday, the woman formally requested that Tallahassee police terminate their investigation and asked that Williams not be charged.

"It is my desire that this matter be resolved expeditiously without Mr. Williams being arrested, charged, or prosecuted for any criminal offense," the woman wrote in an affidavit, which was sent to Tallahassee police by her attorney. "Please exercise your discretion properly by respecting my privacy and my family's privacy in this matter."

Williams, a senior from Davenport, Florida, also could face a Title IX investigation by FSU's Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which could lead to findings of violations of the school's student conduct code.

FSU spokeswoman Browning Brooks said in a statement Wednesday: "While each set of facts and circumstances is different, as a general matter notice of Title IX-related issues would prompt an investigation."

Florida State would not confirm whether it would investigate Williams, citing privacy policies, according to the AP. Federal policy dictates that universities must investigate possible Title IX violations if they are aware.

The woman's attorney, Nathan Prince of Tallahassee, told ESPN.com on Tuesday that FSU officials notified police about the allegations that Williams assaulted the woman last week. Brooks confirmed to ESPN.com that the university did contact police about the allegations.

The woman reportedly posted pictures of a badly bruised arm on social media Friday night. Prince said his client, an FSU student, never contacted police and wouldn't cooperate in their investigation.

A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said Tallahassee police still could pursue criminal charges against Williams, even without the woman's cooperation. The source said the photos the woman posted on her social media account reveal a tattoo, which police could use to confirm her identity and her injuries.

Florida State is currently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights over how it handled allegations that FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, sexually assaulted an FSU student in December 2012.

Winston faces an upcoming student-conduct code hearing, in which he could be charged with four violations of FSU's student conduct code, including two related to sexual misconduct. Former Florida Supreme Court chief justice Major Harding will the hear the case, although a date for the hearing has yet to be scheduled.

Williams, who ran for 378 yards with seven touchdowns in six games this season, is expected to play in the Seminoles' game at Louisville on Thursday night.

Florida State released a statement Monday saying it was aware of the investigation and that Williams' status "will be under review."

On Tuesday, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said he would let the university's statement regarding the investigation stand and refused to answer follow-up questions. He did, however, say Williams will play Thursday night at Louisville but didn't specify whether he would start the game.

ESPN.com's Jared Shanker and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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