UPDATE: A Taylor County jury acquitted Windsor in August of 2019. Read the full story.
Jacob Windsor was indicted by a Taylor County grand jury on three counts of sexual assault last week related to an incident last fall when he was enrolled as a student.
The event referenced in the indictment took place Aug. 30, 2014, at a party in Taylor County, and criminal charges were filed against Windsor about a month later. The indictment, handed down Feb. 12, means the grand jury decided enough evidence exists to proceed to trial.
According to Abilene police, the victim was at the party when she “became unable to control herself mentally and physically because of an unknown substance she ingested through her drink.” When she woke up, the victim realized she had been sexually assaulted, a claim further supported by a sexual assault nurse examiner, according to police.
According to the complaint, Windsor, who was a junior biology major at the time from Midlothian, was at the party and confirmed the victim was intoxicated at the time. He also confirmed to police he had a sexual encounter with the woman but did not admit to sexual intercourse, police say.
The Optimist does not disclose the names of sexual assault victims without their permission.
The indictment covers three potential violations of state law regarding sexual assault. The first count claims Windsor intentionally and knowingly committed sexual assault against the victim while she was “unconscious or physically unable to resist.” The second count alleges the assault took place when the woman was unaware that the sexual assault was occurring. And the third count claims Windsor impaired the woman’s judgment by administering an unknown substance before sexually assaulting her.
The charge is classified under Texas law as a second degree felony. If convicted, Windsor may face between two and 20 years in state prison and may be fined up to $10,000.
Windsor referred questions to his Abilene attorney, Kenneth G. Leggett, who said the indictment is nothing more than one step in the U.S. legal system.
“An indictment is nothing more than somebody said this is what happened, and this is what we’re going to try and prove,” Leggett said. “An indictment proves nothing. It is not evidence in the case, the jury is instructed not to take it as evidence.”
He said the only necessary element for a grand jury to indict is probable cause, which is a low standard.
As for the three counts for which Windsor was indicted, Leggett said it is an indication the whoever is making the case is not sure what occurred, if anything did in fact occur.
He said the case will “absolutely” go to trial, and the date will be determined by a judge.
Windsor was booked into Taylor County jailed on Sept. 30, 2014, and released the next day on $50,000 bond.
Eric Gumm, registrar, said Windsor is no longer a student at ACU.