There was a lot of finger-pointing Thursday in the sexual assault investigation involving Florida State’s Jameis Winston after a DNA report linking the quarterback to the alleged victim was leaked to the media.
Timothy Jansen, Winston’s attorney, and State Attorney Willie Meggs held press conferences within minutes of one another. Jansen insinuated that the leak came from Meggs’ office, an assertion the state attorney denied.
Though it is still unclear who leaked the information, Jansen did reveal that Winston voluntarily gave a DNA sample to Tallahassee police last week, but said that even if it matches that of the alleged victim it wouldn’t mean his client raped the woman.
Jansen said the sex between Winston and the accuser “absolutely” was consensual, but then retreated when pressed by reporters who asked him to confirm what he just said.
“I’m not saying that,” Jansen said. “I’m saying the eyewitnesses that were there will verify that any material that was found, or any evidence that was found, is consistent with him (doing) nothing wrong.”
ESPN first reported Wednesday night that Winston’s DNA matched a sample taken from the underwear of the accuser.
Jansen said he has not seen the results of the DNA tests and found out watching television.
“All I know is it’s very suspicious that the only news reporting agency that (State Attorney) Willie Meggs met privately with yesterday in his office was the one that reported that last night on television,” Jansen said. “And that would be ESPN.”
Meggs met with the press minutes after Jansen’s and denied that he — or anyone in his office — released the DNA information to the media. He called the release of the information “problematic.” He said he did not know who the source of information was for ESPN.
Tallahassee Police Department spokesman David Northway told The Associated Press that the leak did not come from the police. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement — which did the DNA analysis — said it transmitted the report over a secure network to police and prosecutors.
“From FDLE’s standpoint it was inappropriate to release the forensic information at this time,” said Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the agency.