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Lawyer: FSU QB Winston volunteered DNA to police
Question of the Day
Meggs would not answer directly why DNA was taken from one of the witnesses, or whether or not there is a now a possibility of multiple suspects in the case.
But Meggs said his office was “trying to find all the relevant facts in the case” and that he did not want someone to question later what evidence was or wasn’t gathered.
Winston, 19, was a top freshman recruit and backup quarterback at the time of the alleged December 2012 assault. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound redshirt freshman is now a Heisman Trophy candidate and the Seminoles are the second-ranked football team in the country.
Florida State has maintained during the investigation that Winston’s status has not changed and he is expected to start Saturday when the Seminoles host Idaho.
Tallahassee police handed over information to prosecutors last week about the 11-month-old case after two media organizations began requesting records associated with the incident.
Meggs said Thursday that prosecutors have made “a lot of progress” in their investigation, but would not say if, or when, prosecutors planned to interview the woman who has accused Winston of sexual assault.
“Hopefully we will have a decision about what we will do in the very near future,” Meggs said.
The family and attorney of the alleged victim said Wednesday in a statement that their attorney, Patricia Carroll, was warned by police that Tallahassee was a “big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable.”
The family said in their statement that the woman did not initially know the identity of who assaulted her and did not identify the alleged attacker as Winston until January.
City Manager Anita Favors Thompson, saying that she anticipated national media interest because of Winston’s celebrity, emailed that information to the Tallahassee mayor and city commissioners on Nov. 12. Her email stated police “stopped getting responses from the young woman and could no longer contact her for additional follow up and information after many attempts to do so.”
The city manager said an attorney representing the alleged victim’s family said she “changed her mind and did not wish to prosecute.”
The woman, Carroll said, never told police she did not want to press charges.
Carroll said the accuser _ who is from the Tampa Bay area _ was going ahead with her life and attending classes at FSU when it became apparent that the police had no plans to seriously investigate the case. The woman left school last week when she learned that the case was about to become public.
Carroll said the woman and the family are cooperating with prosecutors “as they proceed with whatever actions they are taking in this matter.”
By Michael Widlanski
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