Let's get caught up on the investigation into a supposed sexual battery that may or may not involve Jameis Winston.
Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman said a weeks-long time frame was "probably realistic" for the office to conduct its investigation of the allegations related to the Dec. 7, 2012, complaint filed with the Tallahassee Police Department. Cappleman said her office has been in communication with the complainant and her aunt, an attorney who is representing her.
Cappleman said she did not know what caused TPD to refer the dormant case to the State Attorney's Office this week. The move followed media inquires that began last week. TPD spokesman Officer David Northway said he was unable to provide any further details regarding the active, ongoing investigation. Cappleman said she was told by TPD officials they delayed referring the case because the complainant did not want to pursue charges.
What this does not say is that the alleged victim now wants this to go forward. While that is possible, and perhaps probable, we cannot assume that. All that we know is that the alleged victim is talking with the SAO.
I do think it says something about the quality of the evidence at the time of the initial investigation that this did not go forward without the support of the alleged victim. While difficult, if the evidence is strong enough, cases can be tried in Florida without the participation or will of the alleged victim.
On the potential elongated timetable, there is no love lost between the TPD and the SAO. I am sure that the SAO did not appreciate being blindsided about this, and thus the TPD was told to investigate more.
Meggs said that Winston will be questioned if he is named a suspect. Winston has not been named a suspect at this time. Winston's lawyer, Tim Jansen, said that the Tallahassee Police Department wants a D.N.A. swab from Winston. Jansen said he doesn't know why the case was reopened, but has provided two witnesses that he says will prove Winston's innocence.
"There is no new evidence from what I understand, other than the evidence we have provided, which we believe will exonerate him," said Jansen.
Keep in mind that D.N.A., even if it is obtained and matched, is not indicative of sexual battery or any crime. It would solely indicate a potential encounter. Sexual battery is about circumstance and lack of consent.
According to ESPN, Winston is declining to talk to the police. That is within his rights, and remaining silent does not at all indicate guilt or innocence. It is probably a good strategy for the time being.
I am also interested if the alleged victim is telling the same story 11 months later.
If the investigation continues, things will begin to come out, both about Jameis Winston, and about the alleged victim. Tweets, pictures, videos, which may or may not tell a story about either person. It could get ugly. For both sides.
I also have a feeling that the Tampa Bay Times may be the main paper to watch on this going forward. I believe it was the first media outlet to inquire about the incident with the TPD.
Also, knowing that Jimbo Fisher is someone obsessed with planning and preparation, I was very interested in whether he would give backup Sean Maguire (third string until a few days ago when the backup QB Jacob Coker had knee surgery) considerable reps with the first team in the event that a charge would come down on Winston. I have been told that has definitely not happen. At least in this instance, Jimbo Fisher's actions back up his verbal support of his quarterback's character. People I speak with at Florida State are confident.