No charges will be filed against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, who was alleged to have sexually assaulted a former student, state attorney William Meggs said Thursday at a press conference that was originally scheduled for 2 p.m. but started seven minutes earlier after ESPN scooped the press conference.
Jeff Cameron of 97.9 ESPN Tallahassee said that his unnamed source helped draft the state attorney’s release and told him that the case could have been closed a week ago. “There is not enough evidence to charge,” said Cameron, speaking to ESPN’s Shelley Smith outside the location where the press conference was to occur, some 30 minutes before the scheduled conference time.
According to Cameron, key evidence included tweets and text messages between the victim and Winston. Meggs said that there were several witnesses in the room at the time of the alleged sexual assault, and after speaking with all of the witnesses, he felt confident in not moving forward with charges.
Winston, a freshman starter, has led the Seminoles to a 12-0 start. He was recently named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and is the first underclassman to receive the award in ACC history. His team is slated to play Duke for the conference title Saturday, and a win there ensures that the Seminoles will play in the national championship game, ESPN reports.
Many Heisman voters have been waiting on a decision in the case to determine if Winston, who is the leading candidate for the trophy, will get their vote. The deadline for Heisman ballots to be turned in is Monday, and the Heisman will be presented to the winner on Dec. 14.
ESPN has previously reported that DNA belonging to Winston was found in the accuser’s underwear. A lawyer for Winston suggested that the star quarterback and the accuser had consensual sex, but the family of the victim has accused the 19-year-old of rape.
Read more at ESPN.