brandon-baby2

Brandon Winston

was born in Camp Lejeune, N.C.,

the son of a U.S. Marine

and a math teacher.

firemen-911

His family moved to Brooklyn, NY.

His mother taught math in

the New York school system.

His father became

a New York City firefighter who spent

months working in the rubble of the Twin Towers.

academy2

He received a scholarship to

Phillips Andover Academy

through a program designed for

gifted inner-city students.

saxsophone2

He attended St. John’s College,

in Santa Fe, N.M.,

graduating after taking a year off

to play saxophone in a band.

harvardlaw

Mr. Winston was accepted

to six law schools:

HE CHOSE

theys

In his first year,

he met Kamilah Willingham in a course

called the Recording Artists Project.

texting

After the course ended

their paths diverged for a while,

but by late 2010 they were back in touch,

especially after Ms. Willingham returned

from a trip to Africa.

She called him “BJ,” his initials.

Jan. 14th, 2011

Video from The Hunting Ground

drubk

While at Ms. Willingham’s apartment,

Ms. Willingham, her friend, Mr. Winston, and another law school student

started drinking Bailey’s and hot chocolate,

and then moved on to Jack Daniels and Coke, and beer.

Defense Attorney Norman Zalkind
questioning Ms. Willingham:

Norman Zalkind:
And at some point you brought out some cocaine?
Kamilah Willingham:
Right.
Norman Zalkind:
And you put some out on the table.
Norman Zalkind:
And by the way, you know that giving out cocaine to anyone is a crime?
Prosecutor:
Objection
taxi2

Around 11 p.m. they took a cab to the Middlesex Lounge, where they continued to drink.

They danced and socialized with other people at the bar,

and then Mr. Winston and REDACTED began to dance.

She kissed him, and he kissed her back. They continued kissing and dancing.

When the bar closed, they walked a few blocks to find a cab,

and then returned to Ms. Willingham’s apartment.

cnn

Me and my girlfriend

kind of just flopped down…

face first on my bed…"

she tells CNN.

Mr. Winston saw REDACTED in bed.

He got in and woke her up; they resumed kissing.

With her help he removed her shirt;

he struggled with her bra for a moment before giving up.

They both passed out.

Video from The Hunting Ground

court2

Court testimony of

Brandon Winston

Brandon Winston:
I woke up to find a body rubbing against mine and a tongue in my mouth.
Norman Zalkind:
And who did you think that was?
Brandon Winston:
I thought it was REDACTED.
Norman Zalkind:
And at some point did you find out it wasn’t REDACTED?
Brandon Winston:
It wasn’t REDACTED.
Norman Zalkind:
How long did that take?
Brandon Winston:
It took me ten seconds after I came to, to realize it… Kamilah’s legs, she wrapped her legs around me.
Norman Zalkind:
And then what did you do?
Brandon Winston:
I stopped.
Brandon Winston:
I said, “We should probably stop.”
Norman Zalkind:
Did she say something to you first?
Brandon Winston:
Yes. She said, “Don’t you have a wife at home?”
Norman Zalkind:
And did you have a wife at home?
Brandon Winston:
No. I had a girl that I was involved with that, like I said earlier, that I had told (Ms. Willingham) at Cambridge Common
Brandon Winston:
that I didn’t want to be with, but was trying to get out of the relationship at the time.
bathroom

Mr. Winston got up to sleep on the couch,

but Ms. Willingham encouraged him

to sleep in her roommate’s room.

Her roommate was out of town.

THE HUNTING GROUND –
Kamilah Willingham, talking about her experience reporting her alleged assault at Harvard.

Video from The Hunting Ground

kamillah

CROSS EXAMINATION

Norman Zalkind:
And do you remember his saying he would sleep on the couch?
Kamilah Willingham:
Yes.
Norman Zalkind:
And you told him to sleep in Andreea’s room?
Kamilah Willingham:
I told him that he could, yeah.
Norman Zalkind:
And at some point you went into the room where Brandon was sleeping?
Kamilah Willingham:
Yes.
Norman Zalkind: You went into that room. And that was after he had, you claim, he had done these things to you and after he had talked to you about REDACTED; is that right?
Kamilah Willingham:
Yes.
Norman Zalkind:
And he was half asleep, right?
Kamilah Willingham:
Yes.
Norman Zalkind:
And he said "I didn't do anything. We hooked up, then I fell asleep.” Or something like that. Is that what he told you?
Kamilah Willingham:
Yes.

Early that morning, after a conversation with Ms. Willingham,

Mr. Winston left to go to work.

Later, he and Ms. Willingham texted.

crime-lab

Ms. Willingham told Cambridge Police she found a used condom in the bathroom trash.

Both women said they believed Mr. Winston had intercourse with REDACTED

while she was passed out.

Neither police nor prosecutors requested a sample of Mr. Winston's DNA.

Three years later, at the insistence of Mr. Winston and his defense lawyer, the condom was tested.

It contained DNA belonging to Ms. Willingham and an unknown male.

It contained no DNA belonging to Mr. Winston.

Video from The Hunting Ground

kamillah

CROSS EXAMINATION

Norman Zalkind: Now, before you had texted Brandon, you and REDACTED agreed not to show you were mad, you were planning to text him?
Kamilah Willingham:
Yes.
Norman Zalkind:
You were going to be casual as possible when you were texting him?
Kamilah Willingham:
Yes.
Norman Zalkind:
And at some point you looked in the trash; is that right.
Kamilah Willingham:
Right.
Norman Zalkind:
And pretty close to the top of the trash there was a condom?
Kamilah Willingham:
Right.
bathroom

Superior Court Judge
Maynard Kirpalani ruled:

In the present case, the defendant argues that the condom and the DNA evidence should be admitted to show the bias of Kamilah Willingham, the Commonwealth's primary witness against the defendant. This court agrees.
On the night of January 18, 2011, Willingham and the defendant met at Cambridge Commons to discuss the incident at issue in this case.
During that meeting, Willingham informed the defendant that she found the condom in her bathroom, and proceeded to ask him a number of questions regarding whether he had used the condom on the night of the alleged incident.
The DNA evidence, however, later showed that the DNA found on the condom matched Willingham and an unidentified male, but did not match the defendant.
The jury could further infer that her questioning of the defendant was disingenuous.
This evidence is relevant, at a minimum, to demonstrate Willingham's bias against the defendant, as the jury could infer that Willingham knew, at the time that she questioned the defendant about the condom, that the condom was not his.
court

A Middlesex County grand jury declined to indict Mr. Winston on any charge

related to Ms. Willingham, and also declined to indict him

on the most serious charges involving her friend.

It is extremely rare for a grand jury to decline a prosecutor's request for indictment.

The grand jury returned two charges against Mr. Winston

for allegedly assaulting Ms. Willingham's friend.

court2

THE CLERK:

Mr. Foreman, as to Indictment No. 8 2012-1160-001, charging the defendant, Brandon Winston, with indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, what say you, Mr. Foreman, is the defendant guilty or not guilty?

MR. FOREMAN:

Not guilty.

jury

Jurors voted eleven to one to acquit Mr. Winston of all charges.

The jurors reached a compromise,

finding him guilty of a single, nonsexual misdemeanor.

hounting-ground

Ms. Willingham was the keynote speaker
at the 2015 National Sexual Assault Conference,
where she continued to accuse Mr. Winston of
a crime he did not commit.

She has become a celebrity.

harvard2

Harvard Law School Faculty reviewed the findings of the Administrative Board and determined that they were not supported by substantial evidence, the applicable standard. The faculty dismissed the case.

In 2015, Mr. Winston returned to Harvard Law School to pursue his law degree.

He hopes to merge his legal education with his creative side to do something innovative.