FSU QB Jameis Winston won’t be charged in sexual assault case

A prosecutor says Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will not be charged in a sexual assault case.

State Attorney Willie Meggs made the announcement Thursday. The 19-year-old Heisman Trophy candidate was accused of raping a female student in December last year, but Meggs says there is not enough evidence for anyone to be charged in the case.

The Tallahassee Police Department turned the case over to Meggs on Nov. 12 after several media inquiries. Meggs interviewed the accuser Nov. 21.

The prosecutor says Winston’s DNA matched a sample found in the woman’s underwear. But Winston’s lawyer, Tim Jansen, has said that was expected and doesn’t prove guilt.

Jansen says the Heisman hopeful is relieved he will not face charges in a sexual assault case and now even more focused on football.

The attorney said Thursday afternoon he had seen his client after the announcement and he was really happy. Jansen says Winston is absolutely innocent.

The top-ranked and undefeated Seminoles are playing Duke on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. A win would likely put them in the BCS championship game.

The woman who accused Winston of sexual assault says she worries her experience and how the case unfolded in the public eye will discourage rape victims from coming forward.

The victim and her family released a brief statement Thursday after State Attorney Willie Meggs told reporters he did not have enough evidence to charge Winston. Meggs says the woman’s memory lapses about the events of last December were problematic.

The family said it appreciated the state attorney’s investigation after what they called an "inordinate delay" by the Tallahassee Police Department. The family has been sharply critical of the police department, accusing the agency of discouraging the woman to proceed with the case against the quarterback.

The department has said it handled the case appropriately.