Winston Allegations Get Interesting As Fact Emerge
More details have emerged in the potential Jameis Winston sexual assault case that seems to be steamrolling toward some sort of outcome.
It now seems clear that the quarterback did indeed have sex with the woman accusing him of an off-campus apartment assault on Dec. 7. According to an ESPN.com report, Winston's DNA matched that found in the underwear of the accuser after analysis by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
On Thursday, Winston's lawyer, who has denied sexual assault allegations against his client, said he wasn't surprised that the DNA voluntarily submitted by the quarterback was a match.
Asked whether the sex was consensual, Tallahassee attorney Tim Jansen said, "absolutely."
"I don't think it's a secret what the defense is when I tell you that we are not surprised his DNA was found," Jansen went on to say at a Thursday press conference. "We anticipated it would be found. We never, ever said he wasn't there."
The accuser's family also released a statement saying the police discouraged her from pressing charges, possibly because of Winston's status as a prominent athlete. Police claim the accuser broke off contact and stopped cooperating in February, but the state has interviewed her this week.
William Meggs of the Second Judicial Court is expected to determine whether there's enough evidence to charge Winston with a crime soon, ESPN reported.
Because of the immense pressure those involved in cases like this now face in today's hyper-saturated media markets, some sort of fast resolution may become more of the norm. Don't expect a Miami Hurricanes-like NCAA investigation, which took years, or the Cam Newton situation in 2010, which seemed to linger all season.
When the Winston allegations broke, many speculated it would not affect his Heisman Trophy status because of the amount of time it takes for legal proceedings to play out, but all signs now say the quarterback either will be charged or won't within days. A potential trial still could drag, but an attempt at prosecution implies some sort of evidence, and likely would affect Winston's Heisman candidacy.
It would be tough to prove this empirically, but it seems the story is generating less backlash for Winston than what Manziel faced this offseason for the autograph-for-pay scandal or quarterback Ben Roethlisberger faced for similar sexual assault allegations.
If Winston is in any way distracted by the potential legal case, it didn't show last weekend, as he torched Syracuse by completing 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns. Winston has led Florida State to a 10-0 season and No. 2 national ranking as a freshman. The quarterback topped the latest straw poll at HeismanPundit.com, edging Manziel. Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota followed.
Winston has not commented publicly on the allegations.