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State’s attorney reportedly vows to ‘get to the bottom of’ Winston situation

Jameis Winston AP

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.

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18 Responses to “State’s attorney reportedly vows to ‘get to the bottom of’ Winston situation”
  1. kinggator says: Nov 15, 2013 2:01 PM

    William Meggs told the paper that he’s only read half of the complaint forwarded to him by the Tallahassee Police Department = FSU Graduate – check back with him after tomorrow’s game, he’ll have read the other half. Well played Noles!

  2. Deb says: Nov 15, 2013 2:37 PM

    Don’t know why people keep implying FSU or FSU grads were sweeping some big scandal under the rug. At the time this complaint was filed, Winston was nobody. No alum and no one connected with the team had any motive to shield him from an assault allegation. It sounds as though they investigated, found the complaint had no merit–or the woman withdrew the complaint–and the whole thing was forgotten until the press got wind of it after Winston became a star.

    The bottom line seems to be that the Tallahassee Police Dept. did a poor job of their initial investigation–or at least with the paperwork. Either they short-changed the accuser in the initial investigation … or they were too lazy to make clear in the case files their findings of no credible evidence against Winston. Now the whole thing is blowing up in a lot of people’s faces, and any way you look at it, innocent people are probably going to suffer for some sloppy police work.

  3. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 15, 2013 2:39 PM

    UF, Miami, Virginia Tech and Ohio State fans DYING to hear them say he did it (and wasn’t just a witness of the actual incident, which actually involved Greg Dent, not Winston).

  4. grudenthediva says: Nov 15, 2013 2:43 PM

    Sorry but you Gators have no grounds upon which to stand when it comes to charges and investigations. Bill Cervone doesn’t even read the reports; he just rubber stamps the “insufficient evidence” filings. Your attempt at schadenfreude is delicious, though.

    – Signed, an actual UF grad, unlike commenters like you who likely never got into Santa Fe CC.

  5. gr82bagator says: Nov 15, 2013 2:46 PM

    Confirmed. Meggs is a graduate of FSU for both his undergraduate degree and law school. http://www.vote411leon.org/images/Meggs_William_N._Willie_2012.pdf

  6. MyTeamsAllStink says: Nov 15, 2013 2:52 PM

    throw the book at him SEC style.hes gotta miss the first half against savannah state!

  7. kinggator says: Nov 15, 2013 3:17 PM

    In my best Bobby Bowden voice – “Kids make a lot of mistakes, but you don’t have to kick them off the team.”

    FTR – Gator Grad and I hope Winston didn’t do anything wrong. Don’t get so butthurt about a trollboard comment.

  8. tailgatersanimal says: Nov 15, 2013 3:18 PM

    That heavily redacted report blacks out the victim’s info. Pretty common place.

  9. mogogo1 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:31 PM

    They’re going to get to the bottom of it a year later? Geez, what’s the hurry guys?

    If he’s guilty, the poor victim has felt abandoned for nearly a year as nothing has happened. If he’s innocent, then he’s needlessly getting his name drug through the mud now over something that should have been resolved months ago.

    These are already extremely tough cases to prove with things boiling down to one person’s word against the others, usually with the alleged assault having no other witnesses. But after a year? No chance of determining what happened unless there’s a video or something like that.

  10. tailgatersanimal says: Nov 15, 2013 3:31 PM

    gr82bagator,

    The SA for Alachua County is Bill Cervone – born in Gainesville and graduated from UF for undergrad and Law.

    Saying “confirmed” about Meggs going to FSU isn’t blowing anything open for the story.

  11. tailgatersanimal says: Nov 15, 2013 3:34 PM

    Actually he was born in Tampa, lived in Gainesville since 1967

  12. l4cesoutd4n says: Nov 15, 2013 3:48 PM

    I think by “confirmed” he was referring to kinggator’s first comment under the story.

  13. tailgatersanimal says: Nov 15, 2013 6:03 PM

    How can anyone thumbs down my comment below. It’s just a fact correction from my post right before.

    tailgatersanimal says:
    Nov 15, 2013 3:34 PM
    Actually he was born in Tampa, lived in Gainesville since 1967

    6 3

  14. justalonewolf says: Nov 15, 2013 9:59 PM

    Dear Mr FSU Attorney, you WILL let them get to and play in the BCS title game first though, right???

  15. vincentbojackson says: Nov 15, 2013 10:22 PM

    Turns out Florida’s State Attorney General is Urban Meyer’s brother in-law.

  16. matt24bucs says: Nov 15, 2013 11:30 PM

    As has been stated even today–Winston will not talk to police”. OR INVESTIGATORS! If i was innocent- I would be on the highest mountain proclaming my innocents! Hate to say it but—Me smells a rat. All the way from Tallahasse.

  17. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 15, 2013 11:43 PM

    matt24bucs says: Nov 15, 2013 11:30 PM

    As has been stated even today–Winston will not talk to police”. OR INVESTIGATORS! If i was innocent- I would be on the highest mountain proclaming my innocents! Hate to say it but—Me smells a rat. All the way from Tallahasse.
    ————————-

    Only retards who formulate opinions based upon silence think this way. Who in their right mind feels that Winston MUST say something — knowing FULL WELL that regardless of what he says, the media will pick it apart, twist it and blow it out of proportion?

  18. eidolon21 says: Nov 16, 2013 10:26 AM

    JW is guilty FSU guilty of cover up
    The Sports Media says so don’t wait for fact or the legal system
    NCAA do your job 20 scholies gone for four years bowl ban for four strip Bowden of 100 wins
    C’mon Emmert you know the drill

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