Willie Meggs: A Legal Disgrace

The smiling mug we see above is the man we all know very well as state attorney of the 2nd Judicial Circuit in Tallahassee, William “Willie” N. Meggs.

Willie Meggs is a husband, a father, an 8th term elected state attorney from 1985 to present and among other things, he is a legal disgrace.

Why is Willie Meggs a legal disgrace?

We will start with why he is up there with the unmistakable smile and why we know so well who he is by name. How many people in towns all over this country can even name who their state attorney is? Most have no idea. Many live in the same area for most of their lives without having a State Attorney so recognizable or they can just name without much thought, but that is not the case in Tallahassee.

Meggs has gained much notoriety from his constant pursuit of Florida State athletes, specifically football players, and garnering limelight and headlines in doing so along the way whether those pursuits have been justified or not. Most of these pursuits have more to do with political capital, inflating an ego and getting a name in the paper.

Evidence of such exists in the very picture above from the press conference Meggs held to announce no charges would be filed against former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston after being accused of rape. No press conference was necessary unless you just want to get your face on a television. A simple statement or press release like so many times before was all that was required, but Meggs could not pass up the opportunity to have his airtime as he always does with members of the national media.

He had his press conference that day, another video interview with ESPN’s Mark Schlabach later (the only member of the media to be granted an exclusive sit-down interview in Meggs’ office) and similar actions were seen recently in the cases of De’Andre Johnson and Dalvin Cook, taking special interest in misdemeanor cases he would not have if not for the profile of those involved.

Ira tweet 2

Not missing a chance for yet another opportunity for more publicity, Meggs even lied to the local media in Tallahassee regarding the actions against Dalvin Cook and gave the truth to national media members, specifically Mark Schlabach once again.

Ira tweet

This is not a new phenomenon. Faithfuls in Tallahassee claim this Willie Meggs has had a personal vendetta against Florida State football players for years and even accuse him of racism.

Recently, Warchant.com’s Ira Schoffel wrote:

And I thought it was a great move to include in his statement Friday that he (Stan Wilcox) plans to have state attorney Willie Meggs and other professionals “who deal with these matters” come speak with the team. This is the first time I can recall an FSU official attempting to build a better relationship with Meggs (at least publicly), and it’s long overdue.
.

The fact it has to be said and written about how the team needs to attempt to build a better relationship with Meggs and is long overdue speaks volumes just in itself to the history the team has had with the man. If not for his personal crusade against the team, a better relationship likely would not have to be built or even thought of in such a way.

Schoffel goes on to write:

While the national media have a perception that Meggs is soft on FSU athletes because of the Winston saga, that has never been the feeling in and around the athletic program. Meggs has previously stated publicly that he holds athletes to a higher standard than normal citizens, and I think he’s backed that up with his actions. He also has done the Seminoles no favors while doing various media interviews in recent years. I don’t imagine Meggs is ever going to take it easy on FSU athletes — nor should he — but having an adversarial relationship with the local state attorney doesn’t help anyone. 
 .
It is not the job of a state attorney to go out of his way at all to single out any group regardless of who they are and certainly not his job to do interviews trying to paint a program in a bad light just because of his personal beliefs and issues. Letting your personal feelings cloud your judgement, hinder your ability to do your duty and negatively impacting your professionalism is a big problem for anyone; even bigger if you are in an authoritative position impacting the lives of so many others. Whether it be any type of organization, a local mosque, the corner temple, an opposing political faction or even as small as the hometown football program, continually trying to single out any one group is illegal and disgraceful.
.
Enforcing a Bias
.
In 2003, following an incident involving Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson, when asked in comparison to how the case was handled when charges were pressed against him while Gainesville State Attorney Bill Cervone chose not to press charges against Teddy Dupay for similar crimes at the University of Florida, Meggs specifically stated:
.
To whom much is given, much should be expected. Sometimes we ought to hold those folks to a little bit higher standard. Thousands of people would give their right arm to play for FSU or Notre Dame or Miami or Georgia, and when somebody messes up doing something stupid, it’s a shame.
 .
Even the investigative reports for Adrian McPherson towered over Dupay’s with it running 800 pages compared to a mere 42 for Dupay.
 .
When speaking to USA Today about the investigation and charges, Meggs admits he should treat Florida State football players differently, stating:
 .
“One of the things I feel you have to do as a law enforcement officer, which is what I consider myself, is treat everybody the same way. We probably ought to treat (FSU football players) different. To whom much is given, much is expected. We ought to give them more time.”
 .
Meggs goes on to say he has, “never had any direct pressure one way or the other” from Florida State.
 .
It is curious how in one line he can state everyone should be treated the same, but football players should be treated differently, very much contradicting himself.
.
His opinion and moral high ground of treating athletes differently is all well and good for you and I who can not change lives so much with the stroke of a pen or even when Meggs is talking to friends, family or members of the congregation at Chapel Hill Baptist Church where he attends in northern Tallahassee, but when you are an elected professional civil servant who has a legal obligation to uphold the law, when you begin treating a specific group differently than any other citizen and singling out anyone for reasons above the law just because they belong to that group, you approach a legal grey area and certainly an unfair and unethical one.
.
Just because it is of the opinion of one individual as to what a student-athlete should be, does not take away the fact those individuals are entitled to the same rights, freedoms and legal due process as every other student and citizen has just the same without being singled out just because they play a sport.
 .
At the core of the matter, the view of Meggs to treat anyone differently solely because they are apart of a certain group whether because of race, gender, age, religion or even the team they play for, it is highly unethical and unfair. When his actions back up those views, it becomes illegal and disgraceful.
.
Student-athletes are young men and women just like average citizens and students. They are college aged individuals who are going to make the same mistakes many other college aged individuals are going to make. Holding them to a higher standard is all well and good in theory, but regular students and college aged men and women are not under a constant microscope, do not have their mistakes magnified to an incredible degree and are not attacked in the national media for any little mistake and certainly are not treated more harshly by the local state attorney just because they happen to belong to a certain group.
.
It crosses a line when those athletes are treated differently than anyone else in the eyes of the law. This is when it becomes a disgrace and is embodied by the actions of Willie Meggs.
.
Florida State Hates Women
.

By now every fan of Florida State has probably heard or seen on social media something about how Florida State, Tallahassee, elite players or all of them, hate women, are woman beaters, sexists or some combination thereof, all of which currently stems from the recent accusations against De’Andre Johnson for striking a female, Dalvin Cook’s recent charges everyone has already assumed he is guilty of and the assumption by the ignorant masses Jameis Winston got away with rape.

Reflecting on the Jameis Winston case, Meggs told USA Today:

He was not exemplifying great character that night, no matter what the facts are.

We think we figured out what happened (that night), but we aren’t going to tell you. We have a handle on what happened. It’s what I think. Nobody cares what I think, it’s what I can prove. If I had evidence to support my theory and we were going forward, I would lay that out.

Looking at the facts it was obvious there was no case against Winston, continuing to talk as if there might have been or if certain things would have been done differently in the investigation they could have pressed charges are all preposterous. A man in his position is supposed to let the evidence tell the story, not assume guilt from the start, work out a theory based on assumed guilt and try to fit the evidence into pieces to support an already flawed theory. Such activity is not a part of due process or righteous under the law.

The fact Winston was not “exemplifying great character that night, no matter what the facts are,” in his opinion means absolutely nothing to the case and is something a man in his position should keep to himself and not out publicly condemning someone for taking a consenting girl home from a bar just because he does not agree with the behavior even if it is done countless times in college towns across the nation every night without anyone attacking the character of anyone for going about their human nature and a social norm.

Looking at the facts, the lies told by Winston’s accuser, Erika Kinsman, were obvious and no case stood a chance no matter how much he personally wanted to pursue it, yet nothing was said by Meggs about her character of going home from a bar with so many men or reporting false information which is a crime she has yet to be held accountable for because his entire stance in these cases evolves from a foundation of assuming guilt against a football player rather than letting the evidence tell the story as he should.

Jameis Winston is lucky there was so much evidence actually proving his innocence and Kinsman’s continually evolving lies because had there not been so much evidence proving said lies, Meggs would have certainly charged him and taken his chances at a “he said, she said” trial and severely impacting Winston’s life and career in the process all because of her lies and the agenda by Meggs.

Currently with Meggs we have the De’Andre Johnson and Dalvin Cook cases.

With Dalvin Cook, how charges are being pressed and how Meggs considers the complainant credible is beyond anything we have been able to figure out. In the Dalvin Cook Probable Cause Affidavit there are so many issues the story quickly becomes hard to believe in regards to Cook’s involvement.

The first obvious question is why did this take so long to file charges and issue a warrant? The incident occurred on June 23, but Cook was not identified until nearly a week later on June 29. The affidavit was then not presented until July 2 and approved on July 10 by Willie Meggs.

Here are just a few issues with the “credibility” Meggs seems to find with the witnesses identifying Cook.

First, the complainant, who was intoxicated, could not identify Cook and believed it was the older brother of an unknown football player.

Cook ID 1

The complainant even admits the person who became upset with her was not Cook and that Cook had come over to try to calm the situation down and then even admitted the situation was confusing.

Cook ID 5

In fact, listening to the 911 call by the complainant it is obvious she is intoxicated as she has no idea what street she is on or what bar she’s been in. Through her drunken ramblings it took the 911 dispatcher nearly seven and a half minutes to finally sort out what might be going on and send someone out.

Second, the primary witness is a friend of the complainant, a 19 year old who was extremely intoxicated while underage and due to her level of intoxication, the only words the officer could understand while she could barely speak was “male” and “dreadlocks” when questioning her. She never positively identified Cook and also identified someone she thought was the older brother of a football player. Only later after speaking with the complainant did she identify Cook.

Cook ID 2

Next, the first supposed 100% sure identification of Dalvin Cook came from the complainant with the help of her father, who was not even there to witness the incident, yet somehow was able to identify him through social media six days after. Why he was even asked or is considered a witness is still a mystery.

Cook ID 3

These are the women Meggs told Mark Schlabach of ESPN (as usual) he found “to be very credible.” It’s alright if you had a little chuckle there, we did too.

Finally, the only independent witness, who was sober and at the bar inquiring about a security job, said he witnessed an argument and when shown a photographic line-up which included Dalvin Cook, he was unable to identify anyone being involved.

Cook ID 4

Just using a little common sense with the situation, the complainant says she was hit by 5-7 football players. Later she claimed she was hit multiple times by Dalvin Cook. Assuming either of these are true, just one elite D1 football player punching a girl multiple times, is very likely going to leave more of an impact than a bloody lip and a little dirt on one knee. A girl can end up with that just walking around highly intoxicated as we will show Willie Meggs claims later.

Had she really been hit by one player, much less multiple players and multiple times, she would have likely looked something more like Ray Rice’s girlfriend (at the time) who was knocked out cold or possibly like in Joe Mixon’s case where a single punch fractured the victim’s jaw, orbital and cheek bones. The fact she was standing on the sidewalk with a bloody lip makes it hard for one to believe a group of 5-7 football players had just beat her up and then walked away.

The only thing we know for sure is Dalvin Cook was not the one who was upset with the complainant, the complainant was intoxicated and confused, Cook attempted to calm down a situation and his teammate Travis Rudolph was struck by the complainant during the event. Anything other than that at this time is only speculation.

How anyone identifying Cook has any credibility to the point of bringing charges against him nearly three weeks later is not so much a mystery as it is the way Willie Meggs handles these sorts of cases. No matter how many holes a story has or how much credibility a witness lacks, he will still form his own theory regardless of the facts, try to fit the evidence in to support his theory as he goes, pursue charges and assume guilt the vast majority of the time in these circumstances.

It would be very surprising to see any legal punishment handed down to Dalvin Cook at this time based on the current evidence, but seeing how Meggs operates, even knowing he can not achieve a conviction it is seeming like drawing this issue out as long as possible to keep Cook sidelined with the season approaching is better than nothing in his mind to continue to show he will never take it easy on a player.

Once the charges are dropped against Cook or he is found not guilty, many will assume and some members of the media will unjustly accuse, Tallahassee of taking it easy on or covering up for another athlete no matter what the facts are when, in reality, if you listen to the 911 call, read the police report and affidavit you would know the complainant severely lacked credibility, there is no evidence proving any wrongdoing by Dalvin Cook, the process of even identifying Cook to begin with had serious issues (even to the point of questionable legality) and charges should have never been brought against him to begin with.

De’Andre Johnson’s case was a little clearer given the fact there was video of the incident. This fact is not going to be popular because of social norms, but no matter how wrong you and I feel he was in our opinions and know he should have just walked away, by the actual letter of the law, Johnson did not commit a crime.

The video clearly showed the only time Johnson initiated any contact other than incidental was after she had turned around (after trying to block the space with her hip and butt) and was seen verbalizing something not-so-friendly while raising her fist at him. Grabbing a raised fist in defense while being threatened by words and/or body language is not against the law. She then struck him twice, once with her leg and then with the fist of her free hand. She committed a crime at that very moment.

Anyone who says he started the physical altercation is not correct. Anyone who says he made the first illegal contact is not correct.

Johnson’s reaction to the strikes can fall under Florida Statute 776.012 for Justifiable Use of Force:

(1) A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.
 .

This does not mean Johnson was acting in self-defense or he felt there was a realistic threat to his life. The young man was obviously reacting impulsively to alleged racial slurs, very aggressive and belligerent behavior and being struck by both a leg to his midsection and a fist to the face. This just means his actions were legal based on the Florida statute as he was justified in using force against unlawful force and had no duty to retreat.

The state of Florida statute does not discriminate based on gender who uses the force so, again, no matter how much you, I or anyone has an issue with Johnson’s reaction based on norms or moral standing, we are only looking at the law. Emotions aside and separating oneself from moral high ground and removing the emotional conflict to focus solely on the law, Johnson’s actions were still within the limits of said law and the only reason anyone has an issue with the incident and Johnson has been dismissed from the team and is being charged is because of social norms, but the letter of the law doesn’t always care about such things.

Johnson was obviously wrong by not walking away, and he admits as much, but the law states he has no duty to retreat when such force is used and again, the law does not discriminate by male or female.

This gets into a political and legal arena which we generally try to avoid, but here we are.

By the letter of the law, not charging the female with a misdemeanor as well at minimum or at least as a mutual combatant is not correct, especially for a country priding itself on equality. Even if Johnson had walked away, there is greater than a 99% chance the female gets away with a serious crime.

A female who can go anywhere, be so belligerent, have racially charged words and outbursts, threaten someone by both words and body language, strike a man or anyone with her leg and hand and not face any consequences at all while the male can lose so much and will be haunted by the situation the rest of his life is simply wrong, is not equality and does not set the proper example for how anyone, especially a young lady (which is supposed to be why there is such a taboo and social norm to begin with), should act.

If you disagree, then you are simply living in an unrealistic antiquated world, should probably check up on all the things females are doing and accomplishing currently and are unfortunately enabling terrible behavior.

The law does not discriminate because the law does not stand on the moral ground of a man should not hit a woman or a woman should not hit a man, the law says you should not hit. End of story right there. No gender marches to a different cadence to the other in the eyes of the law in these situations, or at least are not supposed to.

Surprisingly, of all the places for the narrative to be correct on the issue, it came on the Wendy Williams Show. As said on the show, nobody should be hitting anyone and the female involved in the Johnson case should be charged as well (3:43).

In this piece she intentionally was not called a “lady” (and never will be) because she is not one no matter how much her pseudo-celebrity father in Orlando defends her actions or condemns Johnson’s. He has only enabled a rich spoiled brat mentality and dangerously inappropriate behavior.

That is not how a lady acts and being a lady is why we have those emotions and social norms toward females. For so many on their moral high ground who say Johnson was wrong just because she was a female should be standing on that same ground saying the female should be acting like a lady as that is only fair and you can not stand on one pedestal without the other.

So, regardless of how you feel about the nature of the alleged crimes from a moral standpoint, legally, what we have seen over the course of a short period of time is one false report of rape, two football players struck by females and a likely misidentification of a player committing a crime and nothing has been done or even attempted to any of the females who have falsely accused or struck any of the males first, only an all out crusade against any football players regardless of what the evidence shows.

Getting back on the topic of Willie Meggs since the Johnson topic is obviously one many will disagree on, the point however is, no matter how you feel about these recent individual cases, Tallahassee still currently has a state attorney who is more interested in pursuing cases at all costs against football players, even if they are only misdemeanors, just because they are football players. At the same time his town has bigger issues such as having violent crime rates well above the national median and average for other cities in the state of Florida. This is where the real concern is, where his attention should be and another reason the man is a disgrace for his over-interest and involvement in these relatively minor cases.

Making Up for Previous Leniency? 

Perhaps Willie Meggs is just making up for being lenient on football players in the past some may ask. We will take a look at some of his previous crusades against players in years past going back over a decade ago.

Attorney Chuck Hobbs, a defense attorney of 15 years who attended law school at the University of Florida, worked in the Willie Meggs office from 1998-2000. Mr. Hobbs stated if Cook’s case were handled ordinarily like any other case, it would be wrapped up by the end of July, but Cook’s arraignment has been pushed back from late July all the way to September 2 for some reason, over a month later than originally planned, much later than the usual timing and a mere three days before the opening football game against Texas St. The timing of the schedule change and other incidents by Meggs have been curious, but he has always maintained his scheduling has nothing to do with football schedules so perhaps a convenient coincidence.

Mr. Hobbs stated while working with him, he never felt Meggs showed favoritism to athletes at Florida State and is anxiously waiting to see if Meggs actually pushes harder against Cook because of his status as an athlete.

Mr. Cook gives his personal experience with Willie Meggs recalling the incident with Laveranues Coles and Peter Warrick in 1999 when they received discounted clothing at Dillard’s and thinking to himself that those cases could have been wrapped up much quicker based upon what typically happens.

Hobbs recalled the two being charged with felonies and remembered thinking back then that had it been regular college students that the cases could have been wrapped up much quicker which is why he is waiting to see if Cook is treated like a normal college student or not.

Hobbs goes on to say Cook’s team could file for a speedy trial and be done with it by August, but says lawyers could make Cook jump through hoops they wouldn’t with typical defendants who are charged with similar offenses and depending on what happens the case could drag out through nearly half of the season.

So here we see going back at least 16 years Willie Meggs was singling out football players and taking action against them differently than usual offenders.

Then four years later another serious case involving another football player named Johnson originated with the incredible incident when charges were filed against Travis Johnson.

Similar to Jameis Winston, Travis Johnson was accused of sexual assault and did not have much evidence supporting the case of the accuser. Johnson claimed he passed three polygraph tests and Meggs had “all the evidence in the world not to go to trial,” and yet still took it that far. After 30 minutes of deliberation, an all-female jury acquitted Johnson of sexual-battery. The result was quite remarkable and speaks volumes once again to the lengths Meggs will go and another case which again seems disgraceful for a man in his position.

Johnson has since spoken out about Meggs and his opinion on the case against Jameis Winston. According to Ira Schoffel:

“Johnson said there was a widespread perception in the Florida State athletic department that Meggs was tougher on football players than the general public, and he believed that played a role in his case going to trial.”

Now, we’re no experts in espionage or anything, but when someone passes one lie detector test, that may tell us something. When they pass THREE… unless they are a spy or someone professionally trained to beat a polygraph test and not a young football player, it is probably safe to assume the person may indeed be telling the truth. Certainly given the lack of evidence in the case accompanied with the tests, it should have been an overwhelming reason not to pursue charges, but that did not stop Willie Meggs.

Maybe he goes after all athletes and not just football players?

If that is true, his record does not show it. Just over a year ago, Florida State senior power-hitter and third baseman on the women’s softball team, Briana Hamilton, was suspended from the team automatically after she was charged with burglary and assault against a woman she had dated and recently broken up with.

After Hamilton broke into the home, she grabbed her ex-girlfriend by the neck and slammed her onto the coffee table. Police said Hamilton confessed to the crimes.

On May 9, 2014 Hamilton signed a deferred prosecution deal agreeing to complete community service hours and attend anger management classes and the burglary and assault charges were dropped by May 13.

Briana Hamilton

Willie Meggs was never there trying to pursue serious charges or not allowing anything to dropo. He was not there trying to take the case to trial. There was no interview with national media members or press conferences held. There was no long drawn out investigation or legal process. It was a typical case of many college aged individuals, was handled similarly to most first time offenders under similar circumstances, was all wrapped up in less than a month and there was no media spectacle made of it or involvement by Willie Meggs.

Looking at this case and others involving athletes from other sports points to Willie Meggs not really making any extra effort in those cases, but certainly involves himself much more when a football player is involved.

Maybe he just has a thing for protecting females in general?

This may be a safe assumption, especially considering his daughter was severely beaten working as a Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy last year, but before we make such a claim after only looking at how he handles cases when football players are involved, let us now look at another one of his cases involving a real victim who is female, a bar, the end of the night resulting in the victim being brutally attacked and beaten without provocation and compare them to how Meggs responded when a Florida State football player was not involved.

To gain consent from the victim in this case, we agreed to share the story only under the condition of anonymity for the victim. You can read the entire Redacted Police Report on the case in the link provided, but here is a summary of the events:

Following a Florida State football game in September of 2012, the victim met a man at a local bar in Tallahassee, well away from Florida State’s campus and not often frequented by students, and provided a ride for the man back to his home since he had had a bit too much to drink and, although the victim had legally had some drinks that day during a typical game day, the victim was not out of sorts to drive him.

Not that it matters in the case at all since both were consenting adults, but there was no report of any sexual contact whatsoever between the two and had only just sat down on the couch in a common area to talk when not long after, the man’s roommates entered the home and wanted them to leave. Unbeknownst to the victim there had been a previous conflict between the roommates which obviously did not involve her. The conflict did not appear to be very serious at the time and was only a minor verbal altercation before the two attempted to vacate the home.

As the victim was leaving through the garage she noticed a dog whining in a cage, and like most dog lovers would do, she stopped for a moment to see the pet. This is where the brutal attack began without warning.

The female roommate of the man she had driven home, attacked her from behind, pushing her into the driveway and slamming her head and face into the ground causing abrasions, a black eye, busted lips and fracturing a tooth. While on the ground the beating continued leading to more abrasions, contusions and a concussion while the victim tried protecting herself until the assault ended.

The assailant did not have a scratch on her since the victim purposely did not fight back, only a single kick in an effort to force her assailant off of her.

The victim however, showed obvious signs of a brutal beating, the marks of which have scarred and will last a lifetime:

IMG_68141

Teeth

IMG_68131

Following the heinous crime, the victim drove to a nearby gas station where she made contact with a Sheriff’s deputy to report the crime. The deputy handled the report as usual, took statements from her and the witness, assessed her injuries and state of mind and advised to her to either drive to the hospital or home and have the injuries treated.

The victim remained in contact with the state attorney’s office (SAO) throughout the ordeal. The SAO would make her promises they would not deliver on as minor as emails or phone calls they were suppose to make to her and as major as actions in her case, including settlement.

The SAO would go months without responding to her inquiries and would even give her only 12-24 hour notices for appearance even though she lived over five hours away and was employed. She made this a point to them many times and they still failed to give adequate notice and still wanted a Tallahassee address even though she reminded them countless times she no longer resided in Tallahassee. The incompetence was so bad she requested a different assistant state attorney.

Finally, nearly a half a year later and without any notice to the victim, the SAO settled the case with the assailant. The victim received just over a $100 in compensation even though the victim had sent copies of her receipts for all of her medical and dental care, which the SAO later claimed to have never received, and had her employment effected by concussion symptoms and need for medical treatment. Obviously the medical and dental attention she needed alone, not even considering scar treatment, copay, x-rays and other costs and employment effects, ranged well over $100.

After not receiving any satisfying answers from the victim advocate or assistant state attorneys, including even Jeremy Mutz who has had his own issues in the past showing favoritism which even Meggs said was “embarrassing” yet remained employed, the victim tried writing directly to Meggs and claims the insult to injury came from Willie Meggs himself in a personal letter to her where he misrepresents facts, makes them up as he goes to fit his narrative, obviously did not read the police report carefully and basically accuses the victim of being a drunk slut and bringing the assault upon herself.

Letter1

Now that sounds like a completely different Willie Meggs than the one always portrayed in the media protecting victims and females and would never place the blame on victims, does it not?

Does anyone truly believe if there was a football player involved, particularly if a football player was accused of causing the injuries in the images above, that Willie Meggs would treat the victim the same way? He would absolutely not. After publicizing the images, it would turn into a media spectacle, he would welcome interviews from national media members (of course Mark Schlabach), would do all he could to go after the football player and bring a mob with him regardless of the facts of the case.

For anyone who has read the police report linked above can see, Meggs simply is just making up the facts as he goes along to fit whatever narrative he wants and cares nothing about the female victim in the case. We will point some of them out below.

From the very start Meggs judges the victim for driving a man to his home she had just met, even though it was just a ride since the man was intoxicated beyond the limit and she was not.

Then Meggs claims they were not authorized to be there and therefore were trespassing even though in the police report it states it was the home of the man she drove there who was a legal tenant with property in the house. In any event, there was still no justification for an assault as the victim obviously could not have known that before arriving and was attempting to leave.

Then Meggs states as a fact the dogs were released when it is entirely untrue. The pets were never released which is also indicated in the police report and the assailant only assumed she was going to release the dogs which led to her to attack as she also admitted in an apology letter to the victim later.

Meggs then states the victim was only pushed and all the injuries were caused by the victim falling and injuring herself. Even if that were the case, there was still no reason for anyone to place their hands on the victim as she was leaving, but it is an asinine assertion to believe all of those injuries shown in the images above, others not shown and a concussion came from a simple push and fall. You simply do not get so many serious injuries by a simple push and fall. The assailant even admits in the report she was kicked in the stomach during the incident which agrees with the victim’s statement that she never fought back, only a single kick to the assailant’s midsection in an effort to defend herself and get her attacker off from on top of her.

Meggs claims in the letter the victim’s intoxication level was unclear and possibly contributed to her fall and injuries. Had he read the police report he would have known she was not intoxicated to a level leading to her injuries as she had driven the tenant home as he was intoxicated, after the assault she drove herself to find a Sheriff’s deputy, then after taking her report and assessing her, the deputy did not find her to be too impaired to drive and advised her to drive herself home or to the hospital and have her injuries treated. I doubt any readers out there have ever met any deputies who would allow an inebriated individual to drive themselves anywhere, particularly after a traumatic event such as having just been beaten, yet Meggs speaks of her intoxication as a fact.

In the letter Meggs states had he been involved earlier he would not have pressed charges against the female even though the images clearly show an unprovoked severe beating, the victim had a corroborating witness and the offender admitted to pushing the victim, admits to her guilt, pays what little restitution was required and wrote the victim an apology letter.

Apology to the victim
Apology to the victim

Then to even suggest he could bring charges against the victim is a whole other story. Unless it is opposite day, there are no laws on the books which the victim could have been convicted of.

The “demands” Willie Meggs speaks of by the victim was simply to be made aware of what was going on in the case since many times had she not stayed in contact with the SAO she would not have been made aware of anything at all, also to be allowed to sit down and speak to someone in person, why she was awarded so little compensation for her injuries and why so much was done without her knowledge and so many promises made to her not fulfilled; which is all basically just asking for Meggs to do the job he is elected to do.

Finally, the part which can kind of get under your skin after you review the case is the statement by Meggs:

“you have already been given more consideration by this office than you deserve.”

After seeing how badly the victim was beaten for no reason and personally reviewing all of the emails between her and the SAO, this is a chilling comment showing the true colors of Willie Meggs when he is not getting the media attention and certainly not one anyone would expect from a man who claims to be a law enforcement officer and fighter for victims.

Where was this attitude from Willie Meggs in the Jameis Winston, Da’Andre Johnson or Dalvin Cook cases? He certainly never blamed the complainants who claimed to be raped or assaulted even though in the Jameis Winston and Dalvin Cook cases, the complainants had no evidence supporting their claims and all the evidence supported those of Winston and Cook. He never slut-shamed Erica Kinsman for going home with not one, but THREE men after drinking at a bar. He never insinuated Kinsman brought anything on herself by doing so. He never told her or any of the other complainants involving football players the level of intoxication they were under probably contributed to their injuries, which were only a few areas of redness and consistent with the acts of consensual sex she performed in Kinsman’s case. He did not tell the complainant in Dalvin Cook’s case her level of intoxication could have been the cause of a bloody lip and a little dirt on her knee. He never told Erica Kinsman she could also be charged with a crime for filing a false report and certainly never told her she was given more consideration by his office than she deserved even though it held true much more in her case than in the one above. In fact, the victim in this case was actually of legal drinking age unlike Winston and Cook’s complainants, was not inebriated like Cook’s complainant and was a professional employed in the legal arena, not a young student lacking maturity. Her credibility is simply light years higher than either one of the Cook or Winston accusers.

Just for one second, imagine if Willie Meggs treated either one of the Cook or Winston accusers the same way. Imagine if the images above were made public and then a similar letter was sent to them, basically slut-shaming them, insinuating they were inebriated, basically brought it all on themselves and telling them they had already received more help than they deserved from his office. The backlash would be incredible and would air on every national station for weeks.

So it seems Willie Meggs really goes out of his way to be a crusader protecting female victims of assault, uphold justice and enforce the law, but only when it is convenient for him and obviously not so much when there isn’t the spotlight garnered by a high profile athlete on him.

It is easy to make such claims until it is shown how others have been treated under circumstances not involving a Florida State football player. The fact is, what we see from Willie Meggs in how he views the stories and treats the victims in an average case is a complete turnaround from how he does with complainants when a football player is involved.

This inconsistency of treating female victims of assault, or anyone for that matter, differently when there is a Florida State football player involved compared to when there is not, is a disgrace. They should all be treated equally. The victim and witness in the case above is much more credible than the complainant in the Dalvin Cook case and certainly more credible than Erica Kinsman in the Jameis Winston case, yet she is not treated nearly the same by Willie Meggs which again, is disgraceful.

Accusations of Racism

For many years Willie Meggs has been accused of racism and over the last two years in cases involving Florida State football players, those accusations have yet to be silenced.

In 2012, Leon County District 1 Commissioner Bill Procter asked for a review of Willie Meggs and stated, “He just beats the hell out of black folk day in and day out.” Adding that Meggs “over prosecutes” black people.

Proctor, who has served on the Leon County Board of County Commissioners since 1996, is a former Chairman of the Board and is currently the Vice Chairman, claimed the ratio of black and white juveniles who are charged as adults in the Leon County Jail sits at 10 to 1, leading Proctor to claim:

“His numbers suggest that he has a racial bias.”

Meggs claimed most juveniles are being charged as adults these days because he says his office is having very little success prosecuting them in juvenile court.

This brings up two issues. The first being, even if what Meggs claims is true, it still does not account for the racial discrepancy in the ratio of those charged. Secondly, and possibly most importantly, just because your office struggles at getting the desired results you want in juvenile court, gives you no right to decide when you can begin skirting the law and bending the rules in order to get more desired results.

The juvenile court system is there for a reason. If you are not having as much success with charges there, it gives you no right to suddenly attempt to charge as many as possible as adults just because it works more in your favor. These actions, which he has admitted to, is disgraceful and undermines the entire system and set of laws created for defendants and the accused of a certain age and that is before even considering he charges one race ten times more than the other in such circumstances.

Whether Meggs is actually racist or not can certainly be debated, but it seems very clear to County Commissioner Bill Proctor and the record Meggs has doesn’t exactly discredit Proctor’s belief which leaves one wondering if the attacker in the case above had been a black male, how much different would Meggs have treated the case and the victim.

The Pattern and Motive

Looking back on the history of Willie Meggs and reviewing his record, there is a clear and obvious pattern of treating cases involving Florida State football players differently than those of any other average citizen in Tallahassee. Willie Meggs would never go out of his way to include himself on minor misdemeanor cases when there is so many more major cases out there, unless of course they involve a Florida State football player.

How Meggs has treated cases involving football players publicly, in the media and in the court room is drastically different to how he treats similar cases of the average citizen accused of a crime. Similarly, how he treats victims both publicly and privately are dramatically different depending on whether they are the alleged victim of a football player or not as we have shown.

For anyone claiming Willie Meggs shows leniency toward Florida State football players or even covers up anything, I challenge you to examine his record and show where that has ever been true. Such a claim in unfounded and even laughable. If Meggs was an elected official in Gainesville, Athens, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Baton Rouge or pretty much any town hosting a football team in the Southeastern Conference, he would have likely been run out of town long ago and certainly not reelected so many times based on how he handles the cases involving players.

Willie Meggs has a clear and obvious agenda against Florida State football players. Whether it is a personal vendetta for some unknown reason, racism, attempts to gain political capital from the publicity, truly believes football players should be held to a higher standard or possibly a combination of all these things, right or wrong he has certainly used his authority and the law to take action for those beliefs.

Either way, his actions are still that of someone who is singling out a group of people and not treating them equally as they have the right to be under the law which he is elected to uphold.

Therefore, Willie Meggs is a legal disgrace.

Advertisements

One thought on “Willie Meggs: A Legal Disgrace

  1. Another outstanding article. How this racist joke continues to side with proven liars like Jameis’s accuser or can actually take Cook’s accuser at face value considering all her question marks is insane.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s