By Iliana Limón Romero and Brendan Sonnone
12:57 PM EST, November 21, 2013
FSU quarterback Jameis Winston's DNA matches a sample taken from the underwear of a woman who has accused him of sexual assault, according to an analysis report obtained by ESPN.com.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted the DNA analysis and the crime lab determined the chances of the DNA in the woman's underwear matching someone other than Winston was one in 2.2 trillion, according to ESPN.com.
Tallahassee police obtained a sexual assault kit on Dec. 7, 2012, when the woman reported the altercation took place at an off-campus apartment.
Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, told the Orlando Sentinel on Nov. 13 Winston denied all accusations he had sexually assaulted a woman.
FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger released the following statement to the Orlando Sentinel when asked about the DNA report:
“At the request of the Tallahassee Police Department, FDLE is assisting forensically in the investigation. FDLE conducted DNA and Toxicology screens on the alleged victim and sent the results to the Tallahassee Police Department and State Attorney’s Office over a secured network.
“Because TPD is the lead agency, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the investigation beyond what we have said.”
Jansen told the Tallahassee Democrat and Associated Press Thursday morning Winston agreed to the DNA test, had consensual sex with the victim and expected the result to be positive.
“We are not surprised with the results of the DNA. We voluntarily submitted to a DNA, the only thing we are surprised by is it was leaked out by law enforcement,” he said. “The question the people should ask is why is it being leaked? For what purpose?”
Jansen told the Orlando Sentinel he has been perplexed the case he thought was closed in February was been referred to the state attorney last week.
The Tampa Bay Times reported the woman involved in the altercation is a FSU student from the Tampa area who was not able to identify Winston as the person who attacked her until January. The family of the victim released a statement to the Times Wednesday indicating an attorney acting on the woman's behalf had pushed the Tallahassee police for months to obtain Winston's DNA without success.
Winston's DNA was obtained via buccal swab he provided authorities investigating the case within the past week, although ESPN.com reported Wednesday night he still has not been interviewed by investigators in connection with the assault.
Chief assistant state attorney Georgia Cappleman, who is leading the review of the case handed over by the Tallahassee Police Department last week, told the Sentinel no timeline has been set for determining whether charges will be filed in connection with the case.
The family of the victim questioned Tallahassee police's handling of the investigation, arguing details never should have been released to Winston's attorney before the football player's DNA evidence was obtained and witnesses were interviewed. One of Winston's roommates was among the people the family of the victim expected police to question.
The family's statement indicated the victim was "devastated" to learn the Winston's attorney was aware of the pending case since February, allowing him “to create his defense and prepare witnesses.”
Jansen told the Sentinel in addition to Winston and the woman, there were two witnesses who signed sworn statements backing Winston's version of the events.
“We provided those witness statements to clarify the situation and assist the state attorney in closing the case,” Jansen said Nov. 13.
He declined to elaborate on the statements, indicating he did want to interfere with the pending investigation.
Jansen has since made limited public comments about the case.
When state attorney William Meggs was asked by ESPN.com whether his office could accurately investigate a high-profile case 11 months after the crime allegedly occurred, he told the website: "I'm pretty confident, as much as anybody can be. There are two kinds of evidence: testimonial and physical. We'll have what we have at the end of the day and then we'll evaluate what we have."
Before the rape allegation was made public last week, Winston was favored to win the Heisman Trophy and the No. 2 FSU football team was on track to earn a spot the BCS National Championship Game.
The ongoing investigation has the potential to put both prestigious milestones in jeopardy.
If Winston is ultimately charged with a felony before the end of the season, Florida State athletic department policy states he must automatically be suspended from the team.
The high stakes were already of great concern to the victim's family.
The family wrote in a statement relatives were concerned about the woman’s safety on campus ever since January when she identified Winston as the person who assaulted her.
The family wrote Tallahassee police detective Scott Angulo told the victim's attorney, “Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable.”
Interim Tallahassee police chief Tom Coe held a press conference Wednesday night stating his department could only make limited remarks about the case because it is an open investigation and he did not want to influence the way the victim and Winston were treated.
"On Dec. 7, 2012, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to a call from the Florida State University Police Department about an alleged sexual battery," Coe said. "We began an active investigation that involved collecting evidence and interviewing the victim. In February of 2013, the case was classified as open but inactive when the victim in the case broke of contact with TPD and her attorney indicated that she did not want to move forward at that time. "
He did not address the family’s comments about the way his department handled the case, although he said he looked forward to a time when the case was no longer pending and he could discuss more of the details about the investigation.
Coe read a statement to reporters but did not answer any questions during the press conference.
The victim's family contradicted a few other detailed previously released by police.
The statement read the woman was not intoxicated during the assault. The family also posed a series of questions, asking why Winston wasn’t named in the police report released to the media and why the case wasn’t referred to the state attorney until media outlets began inquiring about the case.
The statement indicated the victim’s attorney and Angulo discussed suspending the case so the woman could seek counseling before deciding whether to proceed, but her attorney still pressed for the collection of evidence.
Tallahassee city manager Anita Favors Thompson told city counselors the investigation was delayed when the woman reporting the altercation initially did not want to press charges, according to an email obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat.
Coe said Wednesday night “when we received a media inquiry, TPD consulted with the state attorney’s office. At that time, that case was re-opened or reactivated. Let me reiterate to you please, the case was never closed. It was classified as inactive but open.”
The off-campus incident was handed to Meggs‘ office for the first time Nov. 12. Meggs began reviewing the case on Nov. 13, the day the Orlando Sentinel and a long list of other media outlets obtained a redacted incident report in connection with a sexual assault. Winston's attorney later confirmed to the Sentinel the quarterback was the person accused of being involved in the altercation.
Meggs told ESPN.com his office would likely decide whether to file charges rather than handing the case off to a grand jury.
"I'm not stupid," Meggs told the website. "It is a young man whose life is in a fish bowl right now. I think about that. There's also a young girl whose life has been turned upside down and her life will never be the same, either. We look at it and say, 'Which one of those is most important?' Both. It is a search for the truth and the truth is kind of elusive sometimes."
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