Winston investigation criticized


ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. -- The lawyer for the woman who accused Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual assault says key information in documents released to the press that related to the investigation was redacted.

Attorney Patricia Carroll said Friday that the information was fundamental to proving a sexual assault took place. Dramatically holding up two pieces of paper, she said a medical report included in a 248-page packet released to the media last week by the state attorney does not match what appears to be the same medical report given to her client's family.

She said injuries suffered by the accuser, the fact the woman was given painkillers and the signature of the person who prepared the document were redacted. Injuries are a key component in the state deciding to pursue charges.

"We see that as a problem that warrants further investigation," Carroll said.

"There is no other choice than to call upon the attorney general of the state of Florida to conduct an independent investigation into this case and the Tallahassee Police Department," she added.

The accuser is not looking at filing a civil lawsuit right now against Winston, Carroll said.

"Premature," she said.

Assistant state attorney Georgia Cappleman reviewed Carroll's allegations.

"Based on what Mrs. Carroll presented in the news conference, I didn't note anything that was news to me," Cappleman said.

Florida governor Rick Scott also responded to Carroll's allegations, saying in a statement Friday that there are no plans to look into the case again.

Carroll cited several inconsistencies in police reports that described the suspect as 5-foot-9 to 5-11. She said the accuser described her attacker as being 6-2. FSU lists Winston as 6-4.

In addition, Carroll said one of the two FSU players who said they were in the apartment at the time of the alleged incident, Chris Casher, told police he videotaped part of Winston's encounter with the woman but deleted it from his phone.

Carroll also questioned the reliability of DNA tests, saying her client's blood was never tested for the presence of date rape drugs.

She said her client's behavior was consistent with someone who had been drugged, but the state said tests showed the accuser was not legally intoxicated and did not have any drugs in her system.

Carroll said she told state attorney Willie Meggs' office she wanted a review of the chain of evidence because her client's urine and blood samples were taken Dec. 7 but not sent to the lab until Jan. 17. Questioning whether the urine was in fact her client's, she asked that the blood be tested for date rape drugs. She claims it was not.

"I specifically spoke to Mr. Meggs and said I don't have confidence in the validity of these tests," she said.

The accuser's memory was cited by Meggs as a key problem in securing a conviction since he said the tests did not show diminished capacity to consent. Cappleman echoed that Friday.

"She says she was raped," Cappleman said. "She can talk about that, but there are memory lapses that are difficult to explain without the presence of drugs or high levels of alcohol. Certainly, there were going to be problems with her testimony."

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