Police defend investigation into Winston

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A police chief is defending the handling of sexual assault allegations against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, saying a timeline shows the investigation into the Heisman candidate was handled professionally.

Interim Tallahassee Police Chief Tom Coe issued a news release laying out the timeline Wednesday, saying the investigation began when officers took the alleged victim to the hospital Dec. 7. She was then interviewed, and DNA and other evidence was collected.

Winston was not identified by the victim as a suspect until more than a month later, Jan. 10, according to the police timeline. The following day, the woman's attorney canceled a planned meeting with investigators, police said.

Later that month, Winston refused to be interviewed, Coe said.

Coe said investigators contacted the victim's attorney again and gave her toxicology reports in February and March. He said the attorney, Patricia Carroll, told investigators she would review the findings and contact them if the victim wanted to pursue the case.

Police did not hand over information about the alleged sexual assault to prosecutors until earlier this month. Coe has said the case was placed on inactive status after police were told the alleged victim no longer wanted to prosecute the case.

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