Just a few short days ago, Jameis Winston was exclusively known as the starting quarterback and Heisman contender for Florida State. Today, his reputation is being challenged as a report of sexual assault lists him as an alleged suspect. Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs is feigning innocence, allowing a bright young star’s reputation to be tarnished by a case closed months ago.
As a legal insider reports, Meggs was well aware of the charges, and is using increased media coverage to cover his tracks and brew chaos for Jameis Winston.
The report was actually filed with the Tallahassee Police Department on December 7th, 2012, prompting media outlets to speculate why the report is surfacing now.
According to State Attorney Willie Meggs, the prosecutor’s office is trying to come to the right and just resolution in this instance. Despite their efforts, the 11-month-old case and it’s timeline loosely resemble any sort of serious investigation. Winston and his attorney, Tim Jansen, stated that they were unsure why the case was re-opened at this point.
Winston is well known as a redshirt freshman who helped led FSU to a 9-0 record as well as a top two national ranking. On Wednesday evening, the Tallahassee Police Department began to receive requests from local and national media outlets seeking information about the case.
The TPD released the report after stating that they were redacting certain documents. The result was a heavily redacted report that makes no mention of Jameis Winston by name. The victim describes a suspect between 5 foot 9 and 5 foot 11 tall, although FSU’s athletics’ media guide lists Winston as 6 foot 4. Winston’s attorney stated that a TPD officer had informed him that the case had been formally closed back in February.
According to the timeline, the prosecutors office and State Attorney Willie Meggs have spent the last 11-months actively investigating this case without feeling the need to interview Jameis Winston once. They also have not filed any charges against Winston, who firmly denies the allegations. Local media like the Tampa Bay Times question if the police actually interviewed anyone regarding the incident.
Willie Meggs spoke to reporters when he stated that he did not know why it took 11 months for the police to ask his agency to get involved. If Winston is charged with a felony, FSU will immediately suspend him from competition, killing his Heisman prospects.
Jameis Winston Defends Reputation
The controversy has gained even more media coverage as it represents another stain in Willie Meggs’ professional reputation. Former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom stated that he filed an ethics complaint against the state prosecutor. His complaint alleges that Willie Meggs manipulated the grand jury process to get indictments.
As the investigation targets a promising African-American football star, accusations of racial discrimination are beginning to brew.
Despite the timing, Jameis Winston has proved resilient as he patiently waits for state prosecutors to decide if he should face charges stemming from the incident. Jameis Winston states that his team status has not changed since the report surfaced and that he is scheduled to start in Saturday’s game against Syracuse University.