Winston case: What's his connection?
As the story of Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy contender Jameis Winston’s involvement in a sexual assault investigation in Tallahassee developed Wednesday, an attorney and a police report shed light on some of the details. But as Wednesday turned to Thursday, much of the public was still left asking one question.
What exactly is Winston’s involvement in the case?
Winston's attorney came forward and confirmed the 19-year-old redshirt freshman from Bessemer, Ala., is under investigation, but also pledged his client’s innocence to FOX Sports. A police incident report filed in December was revealed, but it was heavily redacted and contained a suspect description that seems to contradict some of the physical characteristics of Winston.
The attorney, Tim Jansen, also told FOX Sports "[Tallahassee police] contacted me. I was representing [Winston]. They said the case was closed. That was in February."
But later Wednesday, Florida State's athletic department issued a statement saying Winston's status on the team is unchanged, and acknowledging the case had not been closed:
"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."
Jansen told FOX Sports that he was told Tallahassee police officers recently sent the case to the Office of the State Attorney for review. ESPN reported that William Meggs, state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit in Tallahassee, said his office did not receive the report until Wednesday.
Jansen said that he had affidavits from two "key" witnesses and that he filed them with state authorities, but did not tell FOX what was asserted in those statements. But ESPN reported the affidavits as "supporting Winston's side of the story."
In addition, FOX Sports learned that it was not until after the spring semester began in January that Winston was identified as a possible suspect.
So where do we stand?
For a better understanding of how the story unfolded, click here. But in hopes of providing a better understanding of the facts of the case itself, here is the initial incident report, which you can also view below. The report omits much information, particularly about the alleged victim. But here is what the report does tell us:
• Date report filed: Dec. 7, 2012
• Date of alleged incident: Dec. 7, 2012 (complaint received at 4:01 a.m., police dispatched at 4:03 a.m., police arrived at the scene at 4:10 a.m.)
• Evidence collected from: Person(s)
• Photos/Video taken: Yes - Digital
• Alleged offense: Sex Assault-Victim Over 12 YOA-Physical Force No Damage
• Alleged actions by victim before/during offense: Drinking
• Victim: All information redacted
• Suspect: Among the details listed are a black male, between 5-feet-9 and 5-feet-11, weighing at least 240 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, and a muscular build, and hair that is black, straight and short (up to 1/2 inch)
The FSU athletic department lists Winston as being 6-4, 228 pounds. However, it is also well-documented that victims and witnesses can be incorrect when giving a physical description after an alleged crime and sometimes be unreliable. According to California Innocence Project, among the leading reasons for errors in suspect identification is "High Stress Environment & Trauma."
Here is the report: