On Thursday, Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs announced that Florida State University quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston will not be charged with sexually assaulting a woman who accused him of raping her in December of 2012. Hours later, Winston's attorney Tim Jansen joined HuffPost Live to forcefully defend his client and raise questions about both the accuser and the process which saw his client cast under a harsh media spotlight.
Jansen told HuffPost Live Host Mike Sacks:
"If anybody that knows this young man - he's poised, polite, he's the nicest young man and I believe he was targeted. These athletes are targeted by these young women. And if they don't get what they want, or they expect more, a lot of times you see in these, date rape things, maybe they're embarrassed, maybe they regret it, maybe he didn't call her, it's not the first time I've had a case like this with an athlete."
Jansen noted that his legal team and Winston watched Meggs' press conference live with Florida State Football coach Jimbo Fisher and Athletic Director Stan Wilcox, and that the decision to not charge Winston came as no surprise.
Jansen also stated that he believes his client was targeted due to his celebrity status and raised questions about the timing of when this case was made public.
More excerpts of Jansen's interview are as follows:
On Winston's fame being used against him
"I don't think it's a coincidence that nothing happened in December, nothing happened in February, and in December, he didn't throw a pass, hadn't thrown a baseball, and then in November, he's leading the team, and he's a potential for the Heisman trophy, so, I think, from what we understand, that was not a coincidence."
On a potential civil suit against Jameis Winston
"Once people see all the affidavits, see the eyewitness testimony, see some of the DNA, see the toxicology report, and the girls' multiple statements, they're gonna see that her claims, she has really no credibility."
After the announcement by State Attorney Willie Meggs to not charge Winston, his accuser's family released a statement criticizing the decision and stating ,"To be clear, the victim did not consent. This was a rape."