Jameis Winston, Quarterback, Accused of Rape
via USA Today Sports
Height / Weight: 6'4" / 231 lbs
College: Florida State University
NFL draft: 2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2015–present)
Jameis Winston is currently being sued for sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising out of forcible rape.
On December 7, 2012, Erica Kinsman alleges that Winston raped her in his bedroom and bathroom while they were both students at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. According to court documents, within a "couple of hours" following the incident, Kinsman reported the assault to the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) and had a rape kit performed at a hospital; she had bruises, and there was semen in her underwear. At the time of the assault, Kinsman did not know the perpetrator's name. On January 13, 2013, Kinsman called the TPD and reported that she now knew the perpetrator's name; she recognized Winston when they attended the same class on the first day of the semester.
No criminal charges were filed. In December 2013, the state attorney for Florida's Second Judicial Circuit, William Meggs, concluded there was not enough evidence to constitute a "reasonable likelihood of conviction." According to an independent New York Times investigation, this was because there was "virtually no investigation at all" conducted by either FSU or the TPD. The police department did not interview Winston's teammate, an alleged witness who videotaped the encounter on his phone, until nearly one year after Kinsman reported the alleged assault. (Winston's teammate deleted the video "a couple of days later," according to the Times report.) The TPD also failed to collect a DNA sample from Winston or to interview him in a timely manner after Kinsman identified him to the police. (A DNA sample provided by Winston to TPD in November 2013, nearly a year after the alleged assault, matched DNA found in Kinsman's underwear.)
On April 16, 2015, Kinsman filed a civil complaint against Winston, suing him for sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising out of forcible rape and requesting a trial by jury. Two weeks later, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took him first overall in the NFL draft.
In May 2015, Winston denied all charges and counter-sued for defamation and tortious interference with prospective business advantage, which means he accused her of interfering with potential business opportunities. In September 2015, a judge dismissed Winston's tortious interference claim on the basis that it was not legally distinct from his defamation claim. A trial is set for April 2017.
The New York Times reported that a month before accusations against Winston went public, FSU's victim advocate reportedly learned another woman had reported "sexual misconduct" and sought counseling after an encounter with Winston. The "second woman" has not been reported to have made allegations against Winston or to have pressed any charges against him.
When reached for comment, a representative for Lovie Smith, the head coach of the Buccaneers, declined to offer a new statement but directed Broadly to "the comments Smith made prior to the draft and immediately following [the] selection of Jameis" available here.
Winston's representative did not return Broadly's request for comment.