(AP) Prosecutors: ‘4 or 5’ things to do in Winston case
By GARY FINEOUT
The prosecutor leading the investigation of the sexual assault allegation made against Florida State’s Jameis Winston said Friday there are still “four or five” things that still need to be done before a final decision is made on whether to bring charges against the quarterback.
State Attorney Willie Meggs said that prosecutors spoke with the accuser in the case this week but there is more work to be done in the investigation. He said the interview with the woman may turn out to be a “preliminary” interview.
“We don’t have everything yet,” said Meggs, who did not provide an updated timetable as to when he expects the investigation to be completed. He said after he got the case on Nov. 13 that he hoped it would be completed in a couple of weeks.
“We just came up with four or five things that we know we need to do that either we are waiting for somebody to come back with information or we need to go do this and we haven’t done yet.,” Meggs said. “We don’t have the answers to the things we know we need.”
Winston is being investigated for an incident that occurred last Dec. 7 in Tallahassee. Details are sketchy in the released police report, but the accuser, an FSU student, called police early that morning to say she had been raped by an unknown attacker. She described the assailant as about 5-foot-9 _ Winston is listed as 6-foot-4.
ESPN reported earlier this week that Winston’s DNA matched a sample taken from the underwear of the accuser.
Timothy Jansen, Winston’s attorney, has said his client voluntarily gave the sample last week but that a match does not mean his client raped the woman. He told reporters any sex was consensual before somewhat backtracking when pressed about his comment. Meggs has refused to discuss the details of the DNA report but has called its release to the media “problematic.”
The woman’s family said in a statement this week that the woman did not initially know her assailant’s identity and did not identify the alleged attacker as Winston until January.
Winston, 19, was a top freshman recruit and backup quarterback at the time of the alleged assault. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound redshirt freshman is now a Heisman Trophy candidate. No. 2 Florida State has maintained during the investigation that Winston’s status has not changed and he is expected to start Saturday when the Seminoles host Idaho.
The Seminoles play the Florida Gators on Nov. 30 and will be in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game on Dec. 7.
Tallahassee police handed over information to prosecutors last week about the 11-month-old case after two media organizations began requesting records associated with the incident.
The case has drawn national interest because of Winston’s celebrity, but it has also raised questions about its handling by Tallahassee police.
The family and attorney of the alleged victim said Wednesday in a statement that their attorney, Patricia Carroll, was warned by police that Tallahassee was a “big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable.”