Jameis Winston not charged with sexual assault
Meggs' announcement concludes a three-week investigation into the Heisman hopeful, who will led the No. 1 Seminoles into an ACC championship game matchup with Duke Saturday in Charlotte. The redshirt freshman quarterback was accused of raping a fellow student Dec. 7, 2012.
"We have a duty as prosecutors to only file those charges if we have a reasonable likelihood of confusion," Meggs said. "After reviewing all of the evidence in the case, it did not meet that burden."
If Winston were charged with the felony, he would have been immediately suspended indefinitely per Florida State Athletic Department policy, putting his team's shot at the national championship game in jeopardy should the top-ranked Seminoles defeat Duke Saturday.
Playing his first season of college football, Winston was named ACC Player of the Year, completing 68.8 percent of his passes and throwing for 3,490 yards in 12 regular-season games. He also threw for 35 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The case has been the center of attention for the past three weeks following intense scrutiny from the alleged victim's family, which issued a statement accusing law enforcement officers of trying to dissuade them from progressing with the charges due to the Seminoles' national championship aspirations.
"We requested assistance from an attorney friend to interact with law enforcement on the victim's behalf," the statement said. "When the attorney contacted Detective [Scott] Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the attorney that 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."
Meggs responded to those allegations Thursday, stating that his office does not give preferential treatment to Florida State athletes.
"We try to treat everyone the same," Meggs said. "I think we have a record of doing that over the past 29 years."
When asked about whether or not Meggs scheduled the announcement to be made before the Heisman trophy ceremony, the State Attorney laughed and asked when that was. Meggs said he did not consult with the Florida State football program to reveal the findings of the investigation.