Reported DNA link no surprise to Jameis Winston's lawyer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The attorney for Jameis Winston said that the Florida State quarterback had consensual sex with the woman that is accusing him of a Dec. 7, 2012, sexual assault.
Tim Jansen said at a press conference Thursday morning that he knew Winston's DNA would be found as part of analysis by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Jansen said that Winston voluntarily gave a DNA swab on Nov. 14, which was matched by FDLE to a sample taken from the accuser's underwear, according to a report by ESPN.com.
Police took a sexual assault kit on Dec. 7, 2012, the ESPN.com report said. Jansen would not say why Winston didn't provide a DNA swab earlier.
"We are not surprised by the results of the DNA," Jansen said. "The only thing we are surprised by is (the DNA report) was leaked out by law enforcement. We want this to be an independent, fair evaluation."
Jansen said he was not aware of the DNA results until he saw them on TV late Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, he said he still hadn't seen the DNA report.
But he also reiterated that he has two eyewitnesses who will exonerate Winston.
An FDLE spokesperson told FOX Sports Florida that the DNA report was not released via a public records request by his agency. He said that the report must have been released by the Tallahassee Police Department or the Florida State Attorney's office. Both denied giving ESPN the DNA report.
Winston has not been arrested or charged but was originally linked to the case by TMZ and the Tampa Bay Times on Nov. 13.
Tallahassee Police Department Interim Chief Tom Coe said Wednesday night that the accuser had stopped cooperating with police in February. Coe insisted that the case remained open but inactive at that point until media inquiries were made last week. TPD and the State Attorney’s Office then discussed the case, which was reactivated at that point.
But the family of the accuser disputed that claim earlier on Wednesday in a report in the Tampa Bay Times. A lawyer for the family said they had been in contact with a TPD detective, Scott Angulo. The family's lawyer called it a "questionable investigation" and said that Angulo warned the accuser that her life could be "made miserable" if she pursued charges in a "football town."
The State Attorney's Office has said it is planning to meet with the alleged victim, who the Times reported is a Florida State student and is from the Tampa area.
A call by FOX Sports Florida to State Attorney Willie Meggs was not returned Thursday morning. Meggs told the Associated Press that neither he nor anyone in his office released the DNA information to the media. He admitted to the AP that the face that it was released was "problematic."
Winston, a redshirt freshman, has been one of the top quarterbacks in college football this season. He has thrown for 2,938 yards and 28 touchdowns, leading No. 2 Florida State to a 10-0 start.
If Winston is charged with a felony, he would not be able to practice or play for Florida State per athletic department policy.
The Seminoles have two regular-season games remaining -- Idaho at home on Saturday and then at Florida on Nov. 30. Florida State is also the ACC's Atlantic Division champion, and the Seminoles will play the Coastal winner on Dec. 7 in Charlotte, N.C.