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Report: Jameis Winston read statement denying any assault

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While Jameis Winston did not answer any questions during his two-day school code-of-conduct hearing, he did read a statement in which he denied sexually assaulting his accuser.

ESPN.com reported that Winston read a five-page statement at some point during the hearing, which ended Wednesday. Quoting people familiar with the case, the report said Winston declined to answer questions from Major Harding, a former Florida State Supreme Court Chief Justice who was picked to hear the case, and during cross-examination by his accuser.

ESPN.com obtained a copy of the statement.

"I did not rape or sexually assault (the accuser)," Winston said in the statement.

The statement also said, "Rape is a vicious crime. The only thing as vicious as rape is falsely accusing someone of rape. (The accuser) and her lawyers have falsely accused me. ... (The accuser's) and her lawyers' public campaign to vilify me guarantees that her false allegations will follow me for the rest of my life."

The accuser's attorney, John Clune, told ESPN.com, "This was not testimony but just something obviously written by his lawyer."

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In a statement released Thursday, Clune went further: "It apparently took about one hour for Mr. Winston and his lawyer to violate Justice Harding's confidentiality instructions by emailing out one of the exhibits to the media. Jameis Winston's crude new recollection of events is as disgusting as it is implausible. He just keeps digging himself deeper."

Under university rules, Hardin has a maximum 10 school days to hand down a ruling, and there also is an appeals process. It is seen as likely there will be no final decision by Jan. 12, the date of the national championship game, regardless of when Harding's original finding is handed down.

Winston, a third-year sophomore, is eligible to declare for the draft after the season.

Winston and the Seminoles play Georgia Tech on Saturday in the ACC championship game in Charlotte, N.C. It is seen as a given the Seminoles (12-0) will be in the four-team playoff field if they beat the Yellow Jackets.

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

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