Lawyer for FSU QB critical of state attorney

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm •  Published: November 17, 2013
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The lawyer for Florida State's Jameis Winston criticized State Attorney Willie Meggs Sunday for his public comments about the ongoing sexual assault investigation of the Seminoles' quarterback and for how the prosecutor has handled the probe.

Tim Jansen released a statement expressing concerns that Meggs has made "extrajudicial statements" about the investigation during media interviews. Jansen accused Meggs of addressing a confidential law enforcement investigation and inferring that witnesses have been affected by "attorneys and collusion."

Jansen added that ,"We respect the immense power Mr. Meggs has in his investigative process and pray that he will objectively analyze the facts as he finds them, refrain from further extrajudicial public comment, and take all necessary steps to ensure that this matter comes to a quick resolution.

"We are confident that if those steps are taken, this cloud will be lifted and Mr. Winston will be full exonerated of any wrongdoing."

When contacted Sunday evening by The Associated Press Meggs said, "I'm not going to respond to him."

The state attorney did say prosecutors are still interested in speaking with Winston, but have not.

"We will certainly ask to talk to him," Meggs said. "We can't make people talk to us. ... We can't make suspects talk."

Meggs told the AP Saturday he is concerned that media attention has focused primarily on Winston, 19, a Heisman Trophy contender for the second-ranked Seminoles.

"We have a female victim here, too, and my job is to make sure that this victim or any victim of a crime has their rights protected," Meggs said. "... Everything is now focused on Winston and what's going to happen to him."

The alleged victim no longer lives in Florida and Meggs also would like to interview her.