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College Football
Report: DNA links Florida State’s Jameis Winston to his accuser in sexual-assault investigation
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Report: DNA links Florida State’s Jameis Winston to his accuser in sexual-assault investigation

Report: DNA links Florida State’s Jameis Winston to his accuser in sexual-assault investigation
Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) scrambles to the one yard line as Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Shayon Green (51) chases at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida on November 2, 2013. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Report: DNA links Florida State’s Jameis Winston to his accuser in sexual-assault investigation

DNA provided by Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston matches the sample taken from the woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her last December, according to a report.

The analysis was completed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and viewed Wednesday by ESPN.

The match does not prove Winston sexually assaulted the woman, who has been identified by the Tampa Bay Times as a Florida State student living in the Tampa area.

Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, said on Wednesday that the DNA was “voluntarily submitted” last week and that Winston maintains his innocence. He has not been charged with a crime.

Jansen was unhappy that the DNA report was made public while State Attorney Willie Meggs and police are still investigating. But Jansen told ESPN, “The improperly leaked report, if true, has zero impact on Mr. Winston’s defense.”

Jansen has said he has turned over affidavits from two witnesses who said they were with Winston and woman the night of the incident.

Georgia Cappleman, the chief assistant state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit in Tallahassee, told the Palm Beach Post on Wednesday the state attorney’s office continues to investigate the case, which was forwarded to her office last week after it became public.

Cappleman said she will interview the alleged victim.

On Wednesday, the woman’s family issued a statement through her attorney, Patricia Carroll of Tampa, accusing a Tallahassee Police detective of trying to discourage the victim from pursuing the complaint against Winston.

According to the statement, Detective Scott Angulo told the attorney that “Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable.”

On Wednesday night, Tallahassee police called a news conference in which interim chief Tom Coe said the case had been deemed inactive after the accuser stopped cooperating with police in February. The case later was reclassified as open but inactive.

“The victim in the case broke off contact with TPD, and her attorney indicated she did not want to move forward at that time,” Coe said Wednesday.

Police obtained a sexual-assault kit on Dec. 7, 2102, when the accuser reported the incident, which she said occurred at an off-campus apartment. Winston was not named as a suspect by the accuser until a month later.

Cappleman said the state attorney could decide whether it has enough evidence to charge Winston by next week.

Meggs told ESPN that it was a difficult case.

“It is a young man whose life is in a fish bowl right now. I think about that,” Meggs said. “There’s also a young girl whose life has been turned upside down, and her life will never be the same, either.

“We look at it and say, ‘Which one of those is most important?’ Both. It is a search for the truth, and the truth is kind of elusive sometimes.”

Winston’s status with Florida State remains unchanged. He has become a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy while leading the Seminoles to a 10-0 record and No. 2 in the BCS standings. Winston is expected to start Saturday when the Seminoles host Idaho (1-9) in what should be an easy, non-conference game. Florida State is a 56-point favorite.

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