FSU QB Winston tied to 2012 sexual assault
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — FSU quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated in connection with a sexual assault, a charge the star player’s attorney denied.
Tallahassee police released an incident report to the Orlando Sentinel and other media outlets Wednesday listing a sexual assault occurred Dec. 7 at a Tallahassee apartment. The report was heavily redacted and the physical description did not match Winston.
However, Tallahassee attorney Tim Jansen confirmed he is representing Winston and is perplexed the case he thought was resolved generated national media attention Wednesday night.
Jansen said Winston denied being involved in the assault and was never questioned by police in connection with the incident.
“The matter was resolved and closed since February,” Jansen told the Orlando Sentinel. “We don’t know why it is out now… . In February, I talked with police and they informed me the case was closed. Nothing has transpired since February and we were kind of surprised it was re-opened.”
Winston, a 19-year-old redshirt freshman, was considered a favorite to win the coveted Heisman Trophy award. That prize could be in jeopardy because the way voters will perceive him. Winston captivated the sporting world with his on-field production and goofy personality during his first season playing for FSU.
Jansen said members of the media began requesting copies of the report this week and Tallahassee police opted to turn the case over to the state attorney for further review.
In addition to the male and female listed in the report, Jansen said there were two additional witnesses who signed statements.
“We provided those witness statements to clarify the situation and assist the state attorney in closing the case,” Jansen said.
The woman who reported the assault is cooperating with the state attorney’s office, Tallahassee officer David Northway told the Tallahassee Democrat.
The report released by Tallahassee police that did not name Winston and stated a woman alleged sexual battery. The report stated she was drinking before the incident on Dec. 7, 2012, at a Tallahassee apartment complex. The male involved in the altercation was listed as being between 5 foot 9 inches and 5 foot 11 inches and 240 pounds, while FSU lists Winston’s height as 6 foot 4 inches and 228 pounds.
Jansen did not have a timeline for when the state attorney might close the case, but he is pushing for a swift decision.
He said Winston has handled the assault case with poise.
“He’s a good kid, a nice young man, a great student and obviously a great football player,” Jansen said.
The Seminoles’ athletics department released the following statement Wednesday night:
“We are aware of a matter that was investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department almost a year ago. Because the investigation has not been closed by TPD, we cannot comment further at this time. We look forward to a speedy resolution of the issue. There is no change in Jameis Winston’s status. Coach Jimbo Fisher and Jameis will be answering questions about football only until there is a resolution.”
Winston fielded questions from reporters Wednesday night after practice, but FSU said he would not discuss the incident.
Winston was asked how he will be able to block out distractions moving forward.
“Just game planning every week,” Winston said. “We prepare like there’s nothing else to lose. We’re preparing for Syracuse and they have a good defense, they gave up three points the last three games, I believe. We’re just coming in, preparing and trying to do our job.”
FSU hosts Syracuse on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Winston came to FSU from Hueytown High (Ala.), as part of the 2012 recruiting class. Winston did not play last season, receiving a redshirt to maintain a year of eligibility. He also plays for the Seminoles’ baseball team.
He has received credit for bringing the FSU program back to national prominence. The Seminoles (9-0, 7-0 ACC) are ranked as the No. 2 in the country. Winston has recorded 2,661 passing yards and 26 touchdowns so far this season.