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Lawyer: Florida State investigating Winston sexual assault case under student conduct policy

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — An attorney said Florida State is investigating the sexual assault case involving Jameis Winston in an effort to determine if the Seminoles quarterback violated the student code of conduct policy.

Baine Kerr, one of the attorneys for the woman who said Winston sexually assaulted her, said Thursday the university interviewed his client "early last month." He said "an investigation is ongoing."

Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs did not bring charges against Winston in the case, saying last December that there was not enough evidence to win a conviction against him.

The university would not confirm the investigation but said in a release, "While we cannot comment on any individual case, in general, complainants control the timing in our process."

Kerr disagreed with the implication that the interview occurred recently because of actions by his client, saying that the woman has been asking "Florida State to comply with federal law and expeditiously investigate and resolve her complaints."

"I take issue with that statement as it applies to this particular complaint," Kerr said. "She's definitely been asking that this go forward. The timing has not been controlled by her or by us, however. We have for months said that she was willing to be formally interviewed as part of the disciplinary process and made her available.

"She has not been controlling the timing and she has consistently been asking for the investigation to be conducted as promptly as possible."

PHOTO: FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2014, file photo, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (5) passes under pressure from Oklahoma State linebacker Josh Furman (14) during an NCAA college football game  in Arlington, Texas. Things didn't come nearly as easy for the Heisman winner, and the FSU offense will need to play much better if the Seminoles are to win the first College Football Playoff.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2014, file photo, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (5) passes under pressure from Oklahoma State linebacker Josh Furman (14) during an NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas. Things didn't come nearly as easy for the Heisman winner, and the FSU offense will need to play much better if the Seminoles are to win the first College Football Playoff. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

The university is currently being investigated by the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights for possible Title IX violations after the woman filed a complaint. Florida State announced an initiative aimed at the prevention of sexual violence on Wednesday.

Kerr said the woman was interviewed by a formal Title IX investigator from the Florida State Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.

"We expect that there will be charges filed and see no reason at this point for delaying those," Kerr said.

Attorney David Cornwell, an adviser to Winston's family, had a different perspective.

"The real story here is that after her Colorado attorneys created a media frenzy alleging that Florida State University failed to comply with its Title IX obligations, (the woman) had to come clean and admit that she previously refused to cooperate with the university's Title IX inquiry," Cornwell said in a statement.

"Now that she has finally done her Title IX interview, this is the fourth time (the woman) has told her story. We anticipate the same conclusion that followed her previous three statements to the Tallahassee Police Department, Florida's State Attorney's Office and in the FSU Code of Student Conduct hearing. Jameis Winston did not sexually assault" the woman.

Winston is expected to play Saturday against The Citadel.

"This team just moves on," coach Jimbo Fisher said after Thursday's practice. "I have no idea how that'll go or what it's about. That's for other people to find out. We're just here playing ball."

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