Police defend handling into sexual assault allegations against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston

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The Tallahassee (Fla.) Police Department is defending its investigation into sexual assault allegations against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.


Interim Police Chief Tom Coe issued a timeline Wednesday saying it demonstrates his department’s professionalism.

The timeline starts with the department taking the alleged victim to the hospital Dec. 7, interviewing her, and collecting DNA and other evidence.

The report says the victim identified her alleged attacker Jan. 10, but her attorney contacted investigators the next day and canceled a planned meeting.

Later that month, Coe says the suspect refused to be interviewed.

Coe says investigators contacted the victim’s attorney again and gave her toxicology reports. He says the attorney told investigators she would review the findings and contact them if the victim wanted to pursue the case.

Winston was also involved in two minor incidents unrelated to the alleged sexual assault investigation, though he was not arrested or charged in either case, police records show.

In the first case, Winston and other Florida State players were questioned by police in November 2012 after 13 windows were broken at an apartment complex near Doak Campbell Stadium after an apparent BB gun battle. In the second case, a Burger King employee called police in July to complain that Winston was stealing soda. The Associated Press obtained the records from Tallahassee city officials after filing a request.

• In a small sampling of college football media, 27 of 33 Heisman Trophy voters say they would consider Winston for the award even if the sexual assault case involving the quarterback is unresolved before they vote.

The deadline for Heisman voting is Dec. 9, with the winner announced Dec. 14 in New York.

NORTHWESTERN: Quarterback Kain Colter’s status for Saturday’s game at Illinois is still up in the air after the injured senior couldn’t take to the practice field for a third day.

Northwestern spokesman Scott Hammer said Wednesday that Colter dressed for the day’s practice but “didn’t really participate.”

RUTGERS: Has hired a law firm to investigate bullying allegations against a former football player against an assistant coach.

University lawyer John Farmer Jr. had announced last week that he would conduct a review.

But he has since recused himself from the case. University spokesman Pete McDonough tells the Star-Ledger that Farmer stepped down because he could be called as a witness in the case.

Cornerback Jevon Tyree has said defensive coordinator Dave Cohen verbally and threatened to head-butt him last spring.

Tyree quit the team Nov. 6. He remains on scholarship for this school year.

ILLINOIS: A football staff member charged with pointing an unloaded handgun at a vehicle has been placed on leave.

Matt Sinclair is a former Illinois player who is the assistant director of player personnel and relations. He was placed on leave late Tuesday. School spokesman Kent Brown said he will continue to receive his $80,000-a-year salary.

Sinclair is charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon. He hasn’t entered a plea, doesn’t have an attorney and his phone is disconnected.

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