TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston will not face sexual assault charges after a year-long investigation into accusations on an incident from December 2012.
“We have carefully examined the evidence in this case and have concluded no charges will be filed in this case,” State Attorney Willie Meggs said Thursday.
The state attorney said his office couldn’t meet the burden of proof, had enough probable cause, or had a reasonable likelihood of a conviction.
Part of the problem, according to Meggs, was that the victim had two different men’s DNA on her. Meggs said the accuser had an unknown man’s DNA on her shorts and Winston’s DNA on her underwear. Meggs said it was a “logical conclusion” that the accuser had sex with more than one man. Meggs also said the accuser knew the other man, but did not know Winston.
Meggs said the accuser’s boyfriend declined to speak with the state attorney’s office.
The case against Winston drew national attention as the quarterback nicknamed “Famous Jameis” has led the Seminoles to a number one ranking and one win away from playing for the BCS National Championship.
Winston is also a leading contender for the Heisman Memorial Trophy awarded to the best player in college football. Now that Winston has not been charged, if he plays well in the ACC Championship, he should win the Heisman without a problem.
Meggs said he had “not been pressured or consulted with the football schedule” about when to reach a decision.
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.
Tallahassee police have defended their handling of the case and said it was placed on inactive status in February after police were told the alleged victim did not wish to prosecute the case. The victim was interviewed by Meggs on November 21, nearly a year after the alleged assault took place.
Meggs said her testimony had problems with it because she couldn’t remember some things and that her “lack of memory was problematic.”
Meggs said he had no evidence or reason to investigate the Tallahassee Police Department. Meggs did say, however, that identifying the suspect earlier and interviewing witnesses earlier would have helped in a situation like this.
The alleged victim was an FSU student during the December incident, but she left school after her attorney was told by police that information about the case was about to be released to the media.
Meggs said the case is now closed.
With Winston cleared, FSU will have him under center on Saturday’s game against Duke and if the Noles win, then the team will go on to play for the BCS Championship.
UPDATE: Winston released a statement Thursday afternoon that read:
“I want to thank my family, my friends, coaches, and teammates for standing by me during a difficult time. I also want to thank the State Attorney’s Office for examining all of the facts and reaching a decision in a conclusive manner. It’s been difficult to stay silent through this process, but I never lost faith in the truth and in who I am. I’m very relieved I’ll be able to continue my education at Florida State and I’m excited I can now get back to helping our team achieve its goals.”