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Friday, November 22, 2013
Updated: November 24, 9:29 AM ET
Lawyer: Defense 'too little, too late'

By Mark Schlabach

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- As the state attorney's office weighs whether it believes it has sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the family of the woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her in December 2012 issued a second statement Friday night, saying the woman was raped by the Heisman Trophy candidate.

The 'consent defense' is too little too late and is clearly reactive damage control by (Jameis Winston's attorney) after learning the DNA matched his client.

-- Patricia Carroll,
attorney for the accuser's family

Responding to earlier claims by Winston's attorney that he had consensual sex with the woman, Patricia Carroll, the family's attorney, said in the statement: "To be clear, the victim did not consent. This was a rape."

On Wednesday night, reported that a DNA analysis completed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed that DNA provided by Winston matched the sample taken from the underwear of the woman. According to the DNA analysis report, a copy of which was viewed by on Wednesday, the Florida state crime lab determined the chance of the DNA in the woman's underwear being a match for someone other than Winston was one in 2.2 trillion.

On Thursday morning, Tim Jansen, Winston's attorney, said Winston had sex with the woman on Dec. 7, 2012, and that the sex was "absolutely" consensual. Jansen said the DNA match didn't surprise him and that the revelation wouldn't change his client's defense to the allegations.

"Jansen stated that the DNA leak damaged his client's reputation," Carroll wrote. "Why would a consensual encounter damage his client's reputation? However, a rape would certainly damage his client's reputation. The 'consent defense' is too little too late and is clearly reactive damage control by Jansen after learning the DNA matched his client."

In the statement, Carroll also questioned why Tallahassee police informed Winston that he was a suspect in the alleged rape, and why police didn't interview witnesses who could speak to Winston's innocence in February after they were initially informed of the alleged attack. Jansen has repeatedly said affidavits from two witnesses who were at the off-campus apartment on the night of the alleged attack would support Winston's claim of having consensual sex with the woman.

As to the original incident report from Tallahassee police in which the accuser described her attacker as being between 5 feet, 9 inches and 5 feet, 11 inches, Carroll wrote: "Lastly, DNA is not 5'9'' to 5'11'', DNA is Jameis Winston."

On Friday, William Meggs, state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit in Tallahassee, said his office was making progress in the case and might be in a position to decide whether or not to bring criminal charges in the case by early next week. Then on Saturday, he said a decision is not likely to be made before Thanksgiving. 

The accuser, a former FSU student who was enrolled at the school until last week, was interviewed by the state attorney's office on Thursday.

"We're waiting on some things and we still have some loose ends to tie up," Meggs said. "We're getting close to determining an opinion and getting ready."

Meggs told The Associated Press there are still "four or five" things that still need to be done before a decision is made on potential charges.

Asked when his office might be ready to make a decision on whether it has sufficient evidence to charge Winston, Meggs told "I don't really know. I don't know. When you're depending on other people, it makes it a little more difficult. They're not working on our schedule."

Meggs said Wednesday he does not anticipate taking the case in front of a grand jury.

If Winston is charged with a felony, he will be subject to immediate suspension from the team. According to FSU's Intercollegiate Athletics Policies and Procedures handbook, student-athletes charged with a felony "will not be permitted to represent FSU Athletics in game competition until such time as the charge is resolved and all court, university and athletics department conditions for reinstatement have been met."

The FSU policy does include a stipulation that allows the suspension to be waived for "extraordinary circumstances as determined by the administration."

Winston, a redshirt freshman from Bessemer, Ala., is a leading Heisman candidate and has guided the No. 2 Seminoles to a 10-0 record in his first season as a starter. He is expected to start Saturday's home game against Idaho at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.