These facts are corroborated by court transcripts and other documents from this case
Kamilah Willingham and Brandon Winston, both Harvard Law School students, meet in Harvard Law School’s [HLS] Recording Artist Project. In this project, HLS students help Boston area musicians and music producers draft contracts. Ms. Willingham, a second-year law student, selects Mr. Winston, a musician and first-year student, to be in her working group. Winston testimony: “Well, all the team leaders were assigned cases. And then the team leaders chose who they wanted to be on their team, and she chose me.”
Mr. Winston and Ms. Willingham go to Cambridge Common, a local restaurant; they discuss his soon-to-end relationship with another woman.
January 9, 2011
Ms. Willingham sends a text to Mr. Winston at 1:13 a.m., asking him to come over to her apartment. A few days later she sends another, telling him, “It’s time to come out of hiding.”
January 14, 2011
As the evening goes on, Ms. Willingham brings out some cocaine and offers it to her guests. Everyone but REDACTED partakes.
January 14, 2011
Around 11 p.m., the friends get in a cab and go to the Middlesex Lounge, a Cambridge nightclub. Mr. Winston opens a tab and buys himself and his companions drinks. He then starts to socialize and dance with various people in the club. Around midnight, he and REDACTED begin dancing. She kisses him; he kisses her back. They continue making out on the dance floor.
January 14, 2011, Early Evening
Mr. Winston texts Ms. Willingham, asking if he can come to her apartment when he gets off work. He arrives around 7 p.m., and Ms. Willingham makes them drinks, Bailey’s and hot chocolate. Before long REDACTED arrives, Ms. Willingham’s friend from high school, as does another law school student. Everyone has a few drinks.
January 15, 2011, 2 a.m.
Mr. Winston, Ms. Willingham and REDACTED leave the bar and walk a few blocks to find a cab; on the way back to Ms. Willingham’s apartment Mr. Winston asks if he can spend the night there. Ms. Willingham consents. Shortly after 2 a.m., they arrive at the apartment. The two women get out of the cab and run across Massachusetts Avenue to the front door. Mr. Winston continues in the cab to an ATM, where he pays the driver; he then returns to the apartment.
January 15, 2011, Early Morning Hours
Mr. Winston goes into the apartment and sees REDACTED in Ms. Willingham’s bed. He gets in with her and rouses her. They are both drunk; they kiss, he removes her shirt, and then they both fall asleep. Mr. Winston wakes to find Ms. Willingham kissing him. At first he thinks it is REDACTED. They embrace and kiss for a few moments. Mr. Winston stops, and gets up to go sleep on the couch. Ms. Willingham tells him to sleep in the bed of her roommate, who is out of town.
January 15, 2011, morning
Mr. Winston wakes up early; he has to go to work. He goes into Ms. Willingham’s room and speaks to her briefly about the events of the night before, and then leaves. A few hours later he texts Ms. Willingham and gets a message back that says, “Should I tell (REDACTED) to get a pregnancy test?” He thinks it is a joke.
January 17, 2011
Ms. Willingham and REDACTED call the Harvard rape counselor and leave a message. It is a holiday (M.L.K., Jr. Day) and the office is closed.
January 18, 2011
At Ms. Willingham’s request, Mr. Winston meets her at a restaurant. She asks him if he had sex with REDACTED and whether a condom she found in her wastebasket was his. He realizes she is accusing him of rape. Later in the day, Ms. Willingham and REDACTED meet with Cambridge Police and give a detective the used condom. Neither the Cambridge Police nor the Middlesex County Prosecutor request a DNA sample from Mr. Winston. It isn’t until three years later, shortly before his trial, that the condom is tested at the insistence of Mr. Winston and his defense attorney. Testing showed that the condom contained the DNA of an unknown male and Ms. Willingham. It contained no DNA belonging to Mr. Winston.
January 19, 2011
Five days after the alleged assaults took place, Ms. Willingham (a third year law student) and REDACTED go to the hospital for medical exams.
Ms. Willingham reports allegations that Mr. Winston assaulted her and her friend to Harvard Law School administrators.
Ms. Willingham graduates from Harvard Law School.
Harvard Law School’s Administrative Board recommends “dismission” for Mr. Winston for violating the school’s sexual harassment policy. Dismission is expulsion with the possibility of reapplying later. School policy requires the law school’s faculty to review the findings of the board in such cases. This is not an appeal. The faculty has the ability to overturn the Administrative Board’s decisions.
Harvard Law School Faculty reviews the findings of the Administrative Board and determines that the Board’s findings are not supported by substantial evidence, the applicable standard. The faculty dismisses the case. Mr. Winston has missed the 2011-2012 academic year. He returns to school in the fall of 2012.
Ms. Willingham appears before a Middlesex County, Mass., Grand Jury. She testifies that Mr. Winston sexually assaulted her and REDACTED.
Mr. Winston is indicted on two counts of indecent assault and battery involving REDACTED. The Grand Jury declines to charge him with any crime involving Ms. Willingham. He is placed on involuntary leave from Harvard Law School. He works as an apprentice to an artist while awaiting trial.
February 23, 2015
Mr. Winston’s trial begins in Middlesex County Superior Court.
February 27, 2015
The Hunting Ground is screened in select theaters. Ms. Willingham, who is featured prominently in the movie, accuses Mr. Winston of drugging her and REDACTED. In that version of the film, Ms. Willingham says this about Mr. Winston: “This is a rapist, this is a guy who is a sexual predator, who assaulted two girls in one night.”
March 5, 2015
The jury finds Mr. Winston NOT GUILTY of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14. He was found guilty of a single misdemeanor, nonsexual assault and battery.
June 1, 2015
Emily Yoffe publishes “How The Hunting Ground Blurs the Truth” in Slate, her article casting doubt on film’s portrayal of Mr. Winston. Among her sources for the story are two jurors who discuss the panel’s deliberations.
After a four year absence, Mr. Winston returns to Harvard Law School to resume his law school education. On Sept. 2, 2015, Ms. Willingham serves as keynote speaker for the National Sexual Assault Convention in Los Angeles, Calif.