(AP) — The family of the alleged victim in a sexual assault case involving Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston said in a statement late Friday that she didn’t consent, as his attorneys have suggested, and that the player committed rape.
“To be clear, the victim did not consent. This was a rape,” the family said in the statement sent to media outlets.
Earlier this week, Timothy Jansen, an attorney representing Winston, suggested that the player and the alleged victim may have had consensual sex. Jansen made his comments after results from a DNA report showed Winston’s DNA was found in the underwear of the accuser.
The alleged sexual assault was first reported to police in December. The family said earlier this week that the victim did not know the identity of her attacker until early January, when she identified him as Winston.
The family has been sharply critical of the way Tallahassee police have handled the case. The family says they pushed to have a DNA sample taken from Winston only to be told by a police detective that it would alert Winston and make the case public. The statement released Friday called it “significant” that the DNA matches Winston.
Tallahassee police have defended their handling of the case. The interim chief said this week that the case was placed on inactive status back in February after police were told the alleged victim did not wish to prosecute the case. Patricia Carroll, an attorney representing the accuser, has denied that the woman wanted to drop the investigation.
Prosecutors are still investigating and have said there are “four or five” things left to be done but that they could render a decision soon on whether to charge Winston. State Attorney Willie Meggs said prosecutors interviewed the accuser this week, and he left open the possibility that she could be interviewed a second time.
The alleged victim was an FSU student during the December incident but she left school after Carroll was told by police that information about the case was about to be released to the media.
Winston, 19, was a top freshman recruit and backup quarterback at the time of the alleged assault. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound redshirt freshman is now a Heisman Trophy candidate. No. 2 Florida State has maintained during the investigation that Winston’s status has not changed and he is expected to start Saturday when the Seminoles host Idaho.