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Florida State star Winston cooperating in sex assault case, lawyer says

By CNN Staff
updated 8:26 PM EST, Thu November 14, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Florida State QB's name "has been intermingled" in a sex assault inquiry, lawyer says
  • Jameis Winston's lawyer says he was told the case was closed in February
  • A heavily redacted police report has been released; prosecutors won't comment on any details

Tallahassee, Florida (CNN) -- Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston will cooperate with authorities investigating a sexual assault complaint filed in December, a case his attorney said Thursday he believed had been closed for months.

Winston has led the No. 2-ranked Seminoles to a so-far undefeated season and is a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, college football's top award. His lawyer, Tim Jansen, said the red-shirt freshman has not been questioned by police as part of the investigation, and he said police in Tallahassee told him in February the case had been closed.

"I informed my client, I informed the university, that the matter was resolved, and we all moved forward," Jansen said.

Tallahassee police have released a heavily redacted police report documenting a sexual assault allegation. Jansen would not comment on the document, but said his client's name "has been intermingled" with the investigation.

Winston's name does not appear in the redacted version of the complaint, dated December 7, and a suspect description includes a height ranging between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11 -- several inches shorter than the 6-foot-4 quarterback. Jansen said he had given investigators sworn statements from witnesses "that we believe are favorable to Mr. Winston," and those witnesses had been interviewed by police.

Georgia Cappleman, the Leon County chief assistant state's attorney, said police delivered the case to her office on Tuesday.

"I am not aware of it being closed nor did my office ask that it be reopened," Cappleman said. "I do not know the reason the case was not presented sooner. I cannot confirm any suspects or comment on the evidence, as it is a pending investigation."

Florida State said it could not comment on an open investigation, but said there was no change in Winston's status. "We look forward to a speedy resolution of the issue," a school statement added.

Jansen said the report had been leaked to reporters in the past week, timing he called "very suspect." FSU is a national title contender, and Heisman voting takes place in early December: "Any kind of negative can affect that," he said.

"These schools are rabid down here," he said. "College football, it's like a religion down here."

CNN's Dan Moriarty and Alina Machado contributed to this report.

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