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November 13, 2013

Jameis Winston part of sexual assault investigation

UPDATED STORY

Jameis Winston is part of an ongoing investigation into a year-old sexual assault complaint.

A report initially published by TMZ on Wednesday evening said Winston was the suspect in question for an alleged sexual assault occurring Dec. 7 2012 and reported to the Tallahassee police department. The police report, obtained by Warchant.com and other media outlets, is heavily redacted and does not name Winston. It describes the assailant as between 5-9 and 5-11, about 240 pounds with straight hair. Winston is listed at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds on the FSU roster. No charges have been filed against Winston in the complaint.

Florida State Attorney William Meggs told USA Today that he was out of town when his office received the original report. Meggs said his office never received a probable cause affidavit in the case from the TPD - the usual procedure for deciding whether or not to get a warrant. Meggs said his office was proceeding with the investigation.

Florida State released the following statement on Wednesday, shortly after the case became public:

"We are aware of a matter that was investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department almost a year ago. Because the investigation has not been closed by 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 Jimbo Fisher and Jameis will be answering questions about football only until there is a resolution."

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher declined to comment on the specifics of the investigation on Thursday, but said that Winston's status for Saturday's game remains unchanged. He also said Winston had continued to get all of the first-team reps in practice.

Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, said that police had spoken to him about the case in February of 2013, but did not interview Winston at the time. Jansen said he was under the impression that the case was closed, but re-opened and sent to the State Attorney's office after media requests for the report. The State Attorney's office asked police to investigate further and has given no reason for the delay reporting. As of Thursday, Jansen told ESPN that Winston had exercised his right not to speak to police.

Jansen has told multiple media outlets that he can provide two affidavits from others to corroborate Winston's story.

The Tallahassee Police Department said it is continuing its investigation and has consulted with the Florida State Attorney's office as to the direction of the case. TPD has declined to comment further about the specifics, other than the investigation is ongoing.

Any athlete charged with a felony is ineligible to compete per Florida State policy.



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