TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston volunteered a DNA sample last week to the Tallahassee Police Department as part of the sexual assault investigation, his attorney said Thursday, adding that he believes Winston will be exonerated and any DNA does not prove guilt.
Meanwhile, the alleged victim in the sexual assault case was interviewed by investigators at Attorney Patricia Carroll's office Thursday in Pasco County.
ESPN first reported Wednesday night that Winston's DNA matched a sample taken from the underwear of the accuser. Winston's lawyer Tim Jansen said the sex between his client and the accuser "absolutely" was consensual during a press conference Thursday morning, 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."
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."
Jansen said he's surprised the DNA results were leaked out by law enforcement but, "This DNA has no impact whatsoever on this case. The two eyewitnesses that were present will exonerate" Winston.
Jansen said the DNA of one of the eye witnesses was also taken.
"We're not surprised (Winston's) DNA was found," Jansen said. "We anticipated that would be found. We've never ever said he wasn't there. We never said any of that."
The police department did not issue a subpoena for Winston's DNA. Spokesman David Northway told the Associated Press that the leak did not come from the police. Meggs also denied releasing the information and would not comment on what evidence prosecutors have obtained.
"I don't want for when we get done for y'all to say, 'Why didn't you do this or that?'" Meggs said. "I'm going to do everything we can think of to sort out the truth."
Winston was a top freshman recruit and backup quarterback at the time of the alleged December 2012 assault, but is now a Heisman Trophy candidate and the Seminoles are the second-ranked football team in the country.
Tallahassee police handed over information to prosecutors last week about the 11-month old case after two media organizations began requesting records associated with the incident. Meggs has said his office may make a decision regarding the case within the next few weeks.
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