[Update 2:38 p.m.] State attorney Willie Meggs announced that Jameis Winston will not face criminal charges in regards to the alleged sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman. A full story can be read here.
A Florida prosecutor will announce Thursday whether Florida State University quarterback and Heisman Trophy frontrunner Jameis Winston will face criminal charges in the alleged rape of a fellow student.
State Attorney Willie Meggs, the lead prosecutor on the Winston investigation, is to reveal his findings at a press conference in his Tallahassee offcie at 2 p.m. EST, various outlets have reported.
Meggs says his team has investigated every aspect of the Dec. 7, 2012, incident between Winston and his accuser, and has come to a decision regarding potential criminal charges. “We think we have exhausted all investigative tools,” Meggs told reporters on Wednesday, via ESPN.
A live stream of the State Attorney’s scheduled 2 p.m. ET press conference regarding the Winston rape investigation can be found here, courtesy of ABC Action News. Another live stream feed can be viewed here, courtesy of WCTV. In addition, Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, plans to hold a follow-up press conference after Meggs’ announcement.
Meggs previously told reporters that his office would not allow Winston’s status as a top college football player to affect his decision, Sporting News reports. The Florida State Seminoles are currently the top-ranked team in the country, and Winston is considered the frontrunner to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy.
"When you all look at this, when the dust all settles," Meggs said Wednesday, according to Fox Sports Florida, "you'll say, 'Man, there were some things that could have been done back in December of '12 that could have cleared this up a whole lot easier than November of 2013.”
On Nov. 20, Winston’s accuser released a statement through her lawyer, who claimed that Winston had raped her client on the night of Dec. 7, 2012. Furthermore, the accuser’s lawyer claimed that Tallahassee police had encouraged her client not to pursue criminal charges against Winston, as Tallahassee was “a big football town.”
“When the attorney contacted Detective Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective 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,” the statement said.
On Nov. 21, ESPN obtained the results of the DNA test preformed on Winston by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The test revealed that DNA samples taken from the alleged rape victim’s underwear matched a DNA sample provided by Winston. The odds of the DNA sample taken from the unnamed woman’s underwear matching someone other than Winston are 1 in 2.2 trillion.
Soon after the DNA test results leaked to the public, Winston’s lawyer held a press conference addressing the findings, TMZ reported. He confirmed that Winston and his accuser had engaged in a sexual encounter, but he stated that it was consensual.