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Originally published Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:00 PM

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FLORIDA STATE QB WON’T FACE RAPE CHARGE

Jameis Winston, the Florida State quarterback who was a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s top player before accusations of sexual assault surfaced, will not face charges, the state attorney for Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit said Thursday.


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jameis Winston, the Florida State quarterback who was a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s top player before accusations of sexual assault surfaced, will not face charges, the state attorney for Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit said Thursday.

William N. Meggs, the state attorney who took over the investigation last month from the Tallahassee Police Department, said there was insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.

“We have a duty as prosecutors to determine if each case has a reasonable likelihood of conviction,” said Meggs. “After reviewing the facts in this case, we do not feel that we can reach those burdens.”

A 19-year-old woman first reported an off-campus sexual assault to the police on Dec. 7, 2012. The woman’s family said a police investigator warned her lawyer that pursuing the allegation against Winston would subject her to public scorn, and have accused the police of a halfhearted investigation.

Meggs said the police had been cooperative with his office since it got involved in the case three weeks ago. “Obviously it would have been better if it had been handled a little earlier,” Meggs said.

The woman told the police she was raped at an apartment after a night of drinking at a bar near campus, according to a search warrant released hours before Meggs’ announcement. She said she was with friends and had five to six shots at a local bar and that her “memory is very broken from that point forward.”

Meggs said there was no evidence of physical trauma, further complicating his office’s efforts to file charges.

The top-ranked Seminoles are heavy favorites in Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against Duke and with a victory would almost certainly head to the BCS title game.

Notes

Teddy Bridgewater made several great escapes to help No. 19 Louisville get to overtime, and Dominique Brown’s 2-yard run gave the Cardinals (11-1, 7-1) a 31-24 victory over host Cincinnati. The comeback clinched the first American Athletic Conference title for Central Florida, which had a one-game lead over Cincinnati (9-3, 6-2).

• Duke’s David Cutcliffe was selected coach of the year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Cutcliffe has led the No. 20 Blue Devils (10-2) to a school record for victories.




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