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Info arrives late in Winston case

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POSTED November 14, 2013 11:28 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — An assistant state attorney says prosecutors in Tallahassee did not receive information about an 11-month-old sexual assault allegation involving Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston until Tuesday.

Tallahassee police investigated the Heisman Trophy contender in connection with a sexual assault that was reported nearly a year ago in an off-campus apartment. FSU records show the first report was made to campus police on Dec. 7 by a student at a dormitory. The investigation was handed over to Tallahassee police.

The case was not given to prosecutors until this week.

Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman says normal procedure for criminal cases in Leon County calls for police to give information to prosecutors if there is evidence for an arrest, or if it is a “close call.” She says police do not tell prosecutors when they have decided against pursuing an arrest.

A day after news of the case broke, jolting college football fans and casting uncertainty on second-ranked Florida State’s perfect season, there were mostly questions left unanswered.

Tallahassee police, citing the ongoing investigation, aren’t saying much about the case as well, including why investigators waited until this week to hand over information about the case to local prosecutors.

The Seminoles went back to work Thursday, preparing for a home game against Syracuse on Saturday.

Coach Jimbo Fisher was scheduled to meet with the media after practice Thursday evening

For his part, Winston is only talking football. He spoke to the media for roughly five minutes on Wednesday night. University officials warned they would cut off the press conference if anyone asked questions that weren’t strictly related to football.

Timothy Jansen, the attorney representing Winston, has said his client did nothing wrong and he thought the investigation was over months ago. He said he has already handed over to prosecutors affidavits from two eyewitnesses.

“When I spoke to the detective in February he told me the case was closed,” Jansen said. “I relayed that to my client and to university officials. I hadn’t heard another word until Monday.”

Tallahassee police on Wednesday released a heavily-redacted two-page incident report that does not mention Winston by name, but says the incident took place between 1:30 and 2 a.m. last Dec. 7.

It describes the suspect in the sexual assault case as being between 5-foot-9 and 5-11. Winston is listed by Florida State at 6-4.

Jansen said he did not know why local police waited until this week to hand over their investigation to prosecutors.

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