Monday, December 18, 2017
Colleges

State attorney: No Jameis Winston decision likely before Thanksgiving

TALLAHASSEE — State Attorney Willie Meggs said Saturday it is unlikely that a final decision will be made before Thanksgiving on whether to charge Florida State QB Jameis Winston in a sexual assault case.

Meggs' comments came a day after the family of the accuser sent out a statement disputing that she had consented to sex with Winston, as had been suggested by his attorney last week.

"To be clear, the victim did not consent. This was a rape," the family said in the statement, released late Friday.

Last week, Timothy Jansen, an attorney representing Winston, suggested that the player and the accuser had consensual sex. Jansen made his comments after results from a DNA report showed Winston's DNA was found in the underwear of the accuser. Jansen said he was "not surprised" that the DNA was found and that he "anticipated" it would be discovered.

The family in its statement added that the "consent defense is too little too late and is clearly reactive damage control by Jansen after learning the DNA matched his client."

Prosecutors have the DNA report and have also interviewed the accuser. Meggs on Friday said that prosecutors need to do four or five things to wrap up their investigation. But a day later the veteran prosecutor said that "not everything has fallen into place."

"I very seriously doubt that we will be finished by Thanksgiving," Meggs said. "We still haven't gotten everything we need to get."

The alleged sexual assault was first reported to police in December. The family said last week that the victim did not know the identity of her attacker until early January, when she identified him as Winston.

The family has been sharply critical of the way Tallahassee police have handled the case. The family says they pushed to have a DNA sample taken from Winston only to be told by a police detective that it would alert Winston and make the case public. The statement released Friday called it "significant" that the DNA matches Winston and questioned why Jansen did not previously assert that the sex was consensual.

A DAY IN ONE DRIVE: Seminoles RB James Wilder Jr. carried an entire possession on his back in the second quarter. The former Plant High standout capped a five-play, 85-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown with 5:54 left in the second quarter. He carried the ball on four of those plays and accounted for every yard.

RECRUIT BACKS OUT: Markell Pack, a receiver from Purvis, Miss., confirmed he has withdrawn a commitment to attend FSU and is now committed to Mississippi. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder was on a recruiting visit this weekend for the Rebels' game against Missouri.

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