A month later, she identified her alleged attacker as the quarterback. Winston's attorney said the sex was consensual.
The quarterback said in a statement he was relieved.
"It's been difficult to stay silent through this process, but I never lost faith in the truth and in who I am," Winston said.
The alleged assault happened long before Winston became a star on the national stage. Reports about an investigation didn't surface in the public until last month, as the redshirt freshman was well into a remarkable season with Florida State.
Winston, 19, has led the Seminoles to a No. 1 ranking and a shot at a national championship if they defeat Duke on Saturday in the ACC title game. As for the Heisman, many voters were waiting to see whether he would be charged before casting their ballot. The deadline is Monday and Winston is considered a leading contender for the trophy for the nation's top player. It will be awarded Dec. 14.
The accuser's family has been sharply critical of the Tallahassee Police Department, accusing the agency of delaying the investigation and discouraging her from going forward with the case because of the public attention it would receive.
"The victim has grave concerns that her experience, as it unfolded in the public eye and through social media, will discourage other victims of rape from coming forward and reporting," according to a statement from the accuser and her family.
The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
On Thursday, specific details of the alleged assault were released. The woman told police she and friends were drinking at Potbelly's and said she remembered getting into a cab with a man she didn't know.
At the apartment, she said she tried to fight the man off, but he wouldn't stop. At some point, she said another man came into the room and told her attacker to stop, but he didn't.
Her next memory was of the suspect dressing her, putting her on a scooter and dropping her off at a campus intersection. Once she got back to her room, she called police and later went to the hospital.
Police said they opened an investigation and were collecting evidence when they were told in February she didn't want to pursue the charges. The woman's attorney has denied she wanted to drop the investigation.
Winston refused to be interviewed by police and has not answered questions from the media. Two of his teammates backed his story in statements they gave last month to an investigator for the quarterback's attorney, Timothy Jansen. The statements were part of an investigative file released Thursday.
Teammates Christopher Casher and Ronald Darby said they were at Potbelly's with Winston when the accuser struck up a conversation with the quarterback and got into the cab with the three men.
Once at the apartment, the teammates said they peeked through Winston's bedroom door and saw the woman having sex with the quarterback. At one point, Casher said he "busted into the room to embarrass Jameis" and the girl yelled at him to "get out."