FSU Notebook

State Attorney: FSU quarterback Jameis Winston unlikely to be charged with sexual assault before Thanksgiving


From Miami Herald Wire Services

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

Meggs’ comments came just a day after the family of the alleged victim sent out a statement disputing the victim 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 alleged victim might have 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 victim. 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.

steady climb

Winston continues to climb the FSU record books with his touchdowns and passing yardage. On Saturday, Winston went 14 for 25 for 225 yards and four touchdowns.

Winston’s third-quarter touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin marked his 32nd touchdown pass of the season, tying him with Danny Kanell for second all-time at the school. Chris Weinke holds the Seminoles record, throwing 33 in 2000.

Winston also climbed into the top five all-time for yardage in a season. The redshirt freshman passed Peter Tom Willis’ 1989 yardage mark. He now has 3,163 yards on the season. That FSU record is also held by Weinke, who threw for 4,167 yards in 2000.

Seniors Honored

FSU honored its senior class Saturday. Twenty-four Seminoles were announced and took the field for the final time at Doak Campbell Stadium. With the exception of the fifth-year seniors — the last remnants of the Bobby Bowden era — the 2010 class was the first full class Jimbo Fisher recruited as the coach at FSU.

When the group arrived in Tallahassee, FSU was fresh off a 7-6 season that saw it start 2-4 and led to the end of Bowden’s career. On Saturday, when they took the field that now bears Bowden’s name for the final time in their careers, FSU was 10-0 and on course to play for the BCS championship.

Freeman on fire

When Devonta Freeman took a first-quarter handoff 60 yards for a touchdown, it marked the seventh consecutive game that the junior running back had scored. Freeman finished with 129 yards and early in the second half became just the 14th player in school history to eclipse 2,000 career rushing yards.

Miami Herald Writer Patrik Nohe contributed to this report.

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