Lawyer: Two back QB's account

Updated: November 15, 2013, 11:29 AM ET
By David M. Hale | ESPN.com

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The lawyer for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston said Thursday two witnesses who were with Winston last year when an alleged sexual assault occurred will corroborate Winston's account of the event.

Tim Jansen told ESPN.com that Winston was being investigated for "his potential involvement" in an incident in December 2012. Jansen provided police with affidavits from two witnesses earlier this week, and he said at least one of those witnesses has already been interviewed by police and another is in the process of being interviewed.

[+] EnlargeJameis Winston
Don Juan Moore/Getty ImagesHeisman front-runner Jameis Winston is involved in a sexual assault investigation stemming from a complaint filed in late 2012.

David Northway, a spokesman for the Tallahassee Police Department, would neither confirm nor deny that any interviews have taken place.

A source told ESPN's Joe Schad that as of Thursday morning, Winston had exercised his right not to speak to Tallahassee police or provide a statement to them in the investigation. Asked if Winston was prepared to cooperate with Tallahassee police, Jansen said Thursday afternoon, "We'll cooperate as much as we can."

Multiple reports have connected Winston to an incident on Dec. 7, 2012. Police have said only that they are investigating the report of an alleged sexual battery on that date.

Jansen said he was told by authorities in February 2013 that the case was closed and relayed that information to Winston's family and Florida State. No charges were filed and Jansen said Thursday no investigation had occurred since then, until this week.

On Wednesday, Tallahassee police turned over the case to the state attorney, who asked police to further investigate the allegations.

Georgia Cappleman, chief assistant state attorney, said Thursday she could not speak to why there was a delay in prosecutors receiving the case. She also said there is no timeline for a decision on how to proceed with the case, though no decision is expected within the next few days.

Typically, a delay can result from a lack of evidence in a case, or a lack of cooperation from the accuser.

Florida State released a statement Wednesday saying that Winston's status with the team has not changed, and he is expected to start Saturday against Syracuse.

Winston and the Seminoles practiced again Thursday, and coach Jimbo Fisher said the QB "took every snap, every rep, practiced extremely well this week."

"He's been great," Fisher said. "He went out and practiced well and played well and eliminated, as far as I can understand, the distractions, and practiced well."

Fisher had no comment when asked why he thought the case was being brought up again or how long Florida State has known about the incident.

He did say players have rallied around each other this week.

"We've had a lot of adversity," he said. "There's a lot more behind the scenes than goes on at football practice. We've dealt with different issues that go on during the season. Our guys have dealt with adversity and we'll handle it.

"Success brings a lot of clutter from other things, and there are always things that go on. You have to learn to separate on the field and off the field, and our guys are doing a nice job of that."

Florida State is 9-0 and second in the BCS standings. Winston has been spectacular in his first college season, passing for 2,661 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Information from ESPN's Joe Schad was used in this report.

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