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No charges in Jameis Winston sex assault case
Question of the Day
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (AP) - Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston will not be charged with sexually assaulting a woman who accused him of raping her about a year ago, a prosecutor said Thursday.
State Attorney Willie Meggs made the announcement at a news conference, saying there was not enough evidence to win a conviction.
“After reviewing all the evidence in the case, we did not feel like we could meet that burden,” Meggs said.
A search warrant from January, released hours before the news conference, detailed the woman’s accusations for the first time. She told police she and friends had five to six shots at a bar and her “memory is very broken from that point forward.” She said she remembered being in a cab with a “non-descript” black man and going into an apartment where she was raped.
The woman didn’t identify Winston, who is black, until about a month after the alleged assault.
Winston, 19, has led the Seminoles to a No. 1 ranking and a shot at a national championship if they defeat Duke on Saturday.
Many Heisman voters were waiting to see whether Winston will be charged with a crime before casting their ballots. The deadline for ballots is Monday, and the trophy is awarded Dec. 14.
The details of the alleged rape were contained in a search warrant for cellphone records, including text messages. It was dated Jan. 16, six days after the woman identified Winston.
The warrant said she tried to fight the man off, and at some point, another man came into the room and told him to stop. But the two went into a bathroom “where he completed the act.”
Her next memory was of the suspect dressing her, putting her on a scooter and dropping her off at a campus intersection. She said she had no idea where the alleged assault took place.
Meggs said DNA found in the accuser’s underwear matched Winston. Winston’s attorney, Timothy Jansen, has suggested Winston had consensual sex with the accuser and he expects the prosecutor will exonerate his client.
Jansen planned to address the media later Thursday.
Patricia Carroll, the attorney representing the alleged victim, has not responded to requests for comment. Her office is expected to release a brief statement after the prosecutor’s announcement.
The alleged sexual assault was first reported to police on Dec. 7, 2012. The family has said the alleged victim did not know the identity of her attacker until early January. Police said last week that they tried to interview Winston in January but that Jansen at the time told them his client would not answer questions.
By Mark Davis
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