TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors are setting up an interview with the victim in the investigation of an alleged sexual assault tied to Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston that was reported nearly a year ago. They expect to close the investigation in a few weeks.
Many questions are still unanswered, especially why Tallahassee police waited until this week to turn the case over to prosecutors. State Attorney Willie Meggs said Saturday he didn’t know why his office wasn’t given any information even though university records show the first report was made to campus police on Dec. 7 by a student at a dormitory.
Prosecutors said it’s difficult to piece together a case and interview witnesses nearly a year later.
“There’s nothing like being fresh on a case and walking in and saying, ‘what happened last night,’” Meggs said. “Now they’ve been talking to lawyers, they’ve been talking to each other and getting their stories together. … People have had 11 months to decide what they’re going to say.”
The alleged victim has since moved out of state and prosecutors are arranging an interview with her, said Meggs. He is concerned that media attention has focused primarily on Winston, a Heisman Trophy contender.
“There is a victim out there right now whose world has tumbled down around her,” he said.
“We have a female victim here, too, and my job is to make sure that this victim or any victim of a crime has their rights protected. … Everything is now focused on Winston and what’s going to happen to him.”
Winton’s attorney, Timothy Jansen, said Saturday he’s given officials two affidavits from eye witnesses that will “completely exonerate my client.” He’s repeatedly said his client did nothing wrong and he thought the investigation was over months ago.