ESPN is reporting that the Florida state attorney investigating allegations that FSU quarterback Jameis Winston sexually assaulted a woman interviewed the accuser Thursday, according to people familiar with the investigation.
The woman, who says Winston sexually assaulted her at an off-campus apartment on Dec. 7, 2012, was a fellow FSU student but withdrew from classes after details of the incident were released to media by Tallahassee police last week. On Thursday morning, Winston’s attorney said his client had sex with the woman but that it was “absolutely” consensual.
William Meggs, state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit, is expected to meet with his staff in the coming days to determine whether they believe there is sufficient evidence to charge Winston with a crime. Meggs told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he does not anticipate taking the case in front of a grand jury.
If Winston is charged with a felony, he will be subject to immediate suspension from the team. According to FSU’s Intercollegiate Athletics Policies and Procedures handbook, student-athletes charged with a felony “will not be permitted to represent FSU Athletics in game competition until such time as the charge is resolved and all court, university and athletics department conditions for reinstatement have been met.”
The FSU policy does include a stipulation that allows the suspension to be waived for “extraordinary circumstances as determined by the administration.”
Winston, a redshirt freshman from Bessemer, Ala., is a leading Heisman Trophy candidate and has guided the No. 2 Seminoles to a 10-0 record in his first season as a starter. He is expected to start Saturday’s home game against Idaho at Doak Campbell Stadium.
On Thursday morning, Tim Jansen, Winston’s attorney, responded to an ESPN.com report that a DNA analysis completed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Tuesday confirmed that DNA provided by Winston matched the sample taken from the underwear of the accuser. According to the DNA analysis report, a copy of which was viewed by ESPN.com on Wednesday, the Florida state crime lab determined the chance of the DNA in the woman’s underwear being a match for someone other than Winston was one in 2.2 trillion. MORE…