College Football Insider

Jameis Winston investigation a 'cluster,' state attorney says

The state attorney overseeing the ongoing investigation of a sexual assault complaint connected to star Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston calls the case a “cluster” -- one that did not follow normal protocol.

William Meggs with the Second Judicial Circuit in Tallahassee said he's surprised he didn't learn about the case in December 2012, when the complaint was filed with the Tallahassee Police Department.

“Our office would have been informed about this as soon as it occurred,” Meggs said. “We first learned about it at 10:02 a.m. on Wednesday … I don't know if that's alarming, but it's a fact in the case. We can't question motives. What the police department has done is clammed up.”

Meggs believes the case came to his desk in part because of media requests this week to the Tallahassee Police Department seeking information on the case.

CBSSports.com left a message with TPD spokesman David Northway early Friday evening and with Tom Jansen, Winston's lawyer, on Thursday.

Jansen has told other media outlets that police contacted him in February but that the case was dropped. Jansen told Fox Sports that he's supplied the state attorney's office with two witness affidavits providing “exculpatory” – or favorable to a suspect – information. Meggs confirms he's received the two affidavits.

Meggs said he was told Jansen had a copy of the entire police report, which he considers “not good" because his office doesn't provide reports to lawyers representing possible suspects. He doesn't know for sure whether Jansen has a copy.

The Second Judicial Circuit has assigned two investigators to the case. Winston is not expected to talk with investigators.

The police report is heavily redacted and does not identify Winston. The victim described the alleged attacker as between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11 and 240 pounds. Winston is listed at 6-foot-4 and 228 pounds.

The case has several witnesses, Meggs said, including medical and lab officers that conducted a medical investigation on the victim as standard protocol.

“Our job is to protect the rights of the victim and the rights of the defendant,” Meggs said. “We will try to do both of those things and seek and achieve a fair result.”

FSU issued a statement Wednesday acknowledging a TPD investigation, but the school declines comment because the case is not closed. FSU is hoping for a “speedy resolution” of the issue. Winston is still in the lineup entering Saturday's game with Syracuse.

The undefeated Seminoles, ranked No. 2 in the country, have flourished behind the play of Winston, a Heisman Trophy candidate with 2,661 passing yards and 26 touchdowns.


Jeremy Fowler is a national college football insider with CBSSports.com. Fowler joined CBS in 2012 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for two seasons and covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel for two years. Fowler is also a contributor to the CBS Sports Network.
 
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