Florida prosecutors: Jameis Winston case could take weeks
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will continue to play as state prosecutors investigate allegations from a year-old sexual battery report.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will continue to compete for the undefeated Seminoles while state prosecutors investigate whether or not he should face charges in connection with a sexual-battery report filed in Tallahassee in December 2012.
State attorney Willie Megs said Thursday that the Tallahassee Police Department made their office aware of the Dec. 7, 2012, report this week. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, it will likely be weeks before there is a resolution.
Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman said a weeks-long time frame was "probably realistic” for the office to conduct its investigation of the allegations related to the Dec. 7, 2012 complaint filed with TPD. Cappleman said her office has been in communication with the complainant and her aunt, an attorney who is representing her in the case.
Cappleman said she did not know what caused TPD to refer the dormant case to the State Attorney’s Office this week. The move followed media inquires that began last week. TPD spokesman Officer David Northway said he was unable to provide any further details regarding the active, ongoing investigation. Cappleman said she was told by TPD officials they delayed referring the case because the complainant did not want to pursue charges.
Winston is not addressing non-football matters with the media, but his attorney, Tim Jansen, indicated that a TPD officer informed him in February that the case was closed.
"This case has been going on for over a year. The case was basically closed and we're not sure why it's opened up," Jansen said. "We've been cooperating with the law enforcement agencies and we're hoping to get a quick resolution in favor of Mr. Winston."
Jansen told ESPN.com that he provided police with affidavits from two witnesses who were with Winston at the time of the complaint. Winston denies the allegations, but has not been interviewed by police or prosecutors, according to Jansen.
Per school policy, any Florida State student-athlete charged with a felony is immediately suspended from competition. At this time the players, coaches and Florida State staff are standing behind the statement issued by the school on Wednesday night.
"We are aware of a matter that was investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department almost a year ago," Florida State associate athletic director Rob Wilson said in a prepared statement. "Because the investigation has not been closed by the TPD, we cannot comment further at this time. We look forward to a speedy resolution of the issue. There is no change in Jameis Winston's status. Coach Fisher and Jameis will be answering questions about football only until there is a resolution."
Florida State will play host to Syracuse on Saturday in the final ACC game of the season. A victory would leave Idaho, Florida and the ACC title game as the last challenges remaining for the unbeaten Seminoles, currently sitting No. 2 in the BCS standings.
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