Thursday, December 5, 2013
Jameis Winston not charged
By Mark Schlabach
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Nearly one year after Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was accused of rape by a female FSU student, the state attorney has decided not to charge the Heisman Trophy favorite.
Thursday's decision clears the way for him to finish the season with the No. 1 Seminoles.
Willie Meggs, the state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit, formally announced the move during a news conference Thursday at the Leon County Courthouse. Winston had faced felony charges after being accused of sexually assaulting the woman at an off-campus apartment on Dec. 7, 2012.
"We've carefully examined all the evidence in this case and have concluded that no charges will be brought against anyone in this case," Meggs said.
Meggs and his office have been investigating the case for the past three weeks, and they interviewed the accuser about two weeks ago. Last month, ESPN.com reported that DNA found in the woman's underwear matched Winston's DNA. His attorney, Tim Jansen of Tallahassee, said Winston had consensual sex with the woman. But the woman's attorney, Patricia Carroll of Tampa, Fla., said the star quarterback raped her 19-year-old client, a former FSU student, who withdrew from classes after the allegations resurfaced in media reports last month.
"We have a duty as prosecutors to determine if each case has a reasonable likelihood of conviction," Meggs said. "After reviewing the facts in this case, we do not feel that we can reach those burdens."
While the case could be reopened if new evidence was found, Meggs indicated that "he had no earthly idea what that would be."
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