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Jameis Winston's character questioned by state attorney

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Steve Cannon/Associated Press
State attorney Willie Meggs continues to be critical of the handling of the Jameis Winston investigation.


The state attorney who determined that there was not enough evidence to prosecute Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston for sexual assault said Tuesday that Winston "was not exemplifying great character that night, no matter what the facts are."

Willie Meggs spoke at a luncheon hosted by Tallahassee's Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates that was covered by the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, and talked about a U.S. Department of Education investigation into a Title IX complaint because of the school's handling of the situation.

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"I don't hold out a ton of hope that anything is going to be done with this federal investigation," Meggs said. "It is a decision the university has to make about who they want playing football and who they want for their students."

He said during his talk that his office has "a handle on what happened. It's what I think. Nobody cares what I think; it's what I can prove. If I had evidence to support my theory and we were going forward, I would lay that out."

Meggs also said that while "there is no profit for us" to criticize Tallahassee police after the fact, "anybody, as my daddy would say, with one eye and half-sense knows there are some things that needed to be done that weren't done." A recent New York Times story blasted the police and university investigation.

The Democrat reported that Meggs also defended his demeanor at the November news conference in which he announced Winston would not be prosecuted. He said he gave "smart aleck" answers to dumb questions and that any laughter came as a reaction from those assembled, not from him.

As a redshirt freshman in 2013, Winston won the Heisman Trophy and led FSU to the national title. He currently is playing for the Seminoles' highly ranked baseball team and recently completed spring practice with the football team. Winston will be a third-year sophomore in the fall and is eligible for the 2015 draft.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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