A Florida state’s attorney vowed Friday his office will “get to the bottom of it and do the right thing” as it relates to the Jameis Winston investigation, USA Today‘s Dan Wolken is reporting.
William Meggs told the paper that he’s only read half of the complaint forwarded to him by the Tallahassee Police Department, a complaint that was initially filed in December of 2012 while Winston was in the midst of a redshirt season as a true freshman. Multiple media outlets reported that the TPD had received a complaint alleging sexual battery against the Florida State quarterback.
Meggs stated that he has assigned two investigators to the case, although the alleged victim has yet to be interviewed. The state’s attorney also intimated that the case thus far hasn’t been investigated properly.
“Since it’s now been dumped in our laps, we’re going to make sure it is properly investigated,” said Meggs. “Whether it has been so far, I don’t know.”
Meggs intimated similar shortcomings in the probe to FOXSports.com.
“Obviously, we’ll work as fast as we can,” Meggs said. “There are things that have to be done that have not been done.”
Meggs, FOXSports.com reported, declined to elaborate further.
As was reported yesterday, Meggs “doubt[s] very seriously” that his investigators will “get a statement from Jameis Winston,” with the state’s attorney noting that Winston “has a right against self-incrimination.” As is also his right, Winston has retained counsel, with attorney Tim Jansen telling FOXSports.com that he has two witnesses with information that could clear his client. One of the witnesses spoke to investigators Thursday, while the other is scheduled to be interviewed today.
The lag time between the initial complaint and it surfacing publicly has caused concern from several corners — and spawned numerous conspiracy theories — as Winston is the presumptive front-runner for the Heisman while his Seminoles are poised for a berth in the BCS title game. Meggs, via Wolken, explains the procedural norm in such a case:
Meggs said in cases like this one, law enforcement agencies are supposed to provide his office with a probable cause affidavit at the time of the incident, at which point the state attorney would decide whether probable cause exists to get a warrant. His office never got a probable cause affidavit in this case, which suggests either Tallahassee police decided there was nothing to prosecute or the alleged victim declined to cooperate after filing the initial complaint.
Another area of concern has been the heavily-redacted TPD report on the alleged incident. In that report, the alleged perpetrator is listed as being between 5-9 and 5-11; Winston is listed on the team’s official online roster as 6-4. “I would say what y’all have doesn’t tell you anything,” Meggs told Wolken of the physical discrepancy.
A determination on whether the evidence gathered shows probable cause and thus supports an arrest is not expected until next week at the earliest, Meggs said. It should be noted that, if Winston were to be charged with what would be a felony, he would suspended from the football team by the university. That suspension would last until the case was resolved.
As of now, Winston’s status with the football team has not changed and he will be under center when FSU takes on Syracuse Saturday.