TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (AP) - An assistant state attorney says prosecutors in Tallahassee did not receive information about an 11-month-old sexual assault allegation involving Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston until Tuesday.
Tallahassee police investigated the Heisman Trophy contender in connection with a sexual assault that was reported nearly a year ago in an off-campus apartment. FSU records show the first report was made to campus police on Dec. 7 by a student at a dormitory. The investigation was handed over to Tallahassee police.
The case was not given to prosecutors until this week.
Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman says normal procedure for criminal cases in Leon County calls for police to give information to prosecutors if there is evidence for an arrest, or if it is a “close call.” She says police do not tell prosecutors when they have decided against pursuing an arrest.
A day after news of the case broke, jolting college football fans and casting uncertainty on second-ranked Florida State’s perfect season, there were mostly questions left unanswered.
Tallahassee police, citing the ongoing investigation, aren’t saying much about the case as well, including why investigators waited until this week to hand over information about the case to local prosecutors.
The Seminoles went back to work Thursday, preparing for a home game against Syracuse on Saturday.
“He’s been great,” Fisher said. “He went out and practiced well, played well and eliminated clutter, from what I can understand as far as distractions.”
Fisher declined comment when asked directly about the investigation and would not divulge when he found out about the alleged incident. He did confirm that he spoke to the team about recent distractions.
“We talk about what’s going on, our task at hand and control what we can control,” Fisher said. “Success brings a lot of clutter from other things. There’s always things that go on and you have to separate on-the-field and off-the-field and what you can control. Our guys are doing a nice job of that.”
Fisher tried to avoid the topic, but the rest of the sports world has been focused on the Heisman Trophy candidate. Several questions remain.
Why did it take so long for the police to notify the state attorney?
How long has the university known and were any actions taken?
Did police request an interview with Winston?