Fla. State University Settles With Jameis Winston’s Accuser for $950,000

The woman who accused Winston, now the Tampa Bay Bucaneers’ quarterback, of rape in 2012 has settled her lawsuit with Florida State University, where she and Winston were students at the time. 

Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates after beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Nov. 1, 2015.
Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates after beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Nov. 1, 2015. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A woman who accused footballer Jameis Winston of raping her in 2012 while they were both students at Florida State University has settled with the school for $950,000, the New York Times reports

The agreement, which was reached Monday, also calls for Florida State to commit to five years of sexual-assault-awareness programs and greater transparency, the site notes.

“I’ll always be disappointed that I had to leave the school I dreamed of attending since I was little,” the alleged victim, Erica Kinsman, said in the statement. “I am happy that FSU has committed to continue making changes in order to ensure a safer environment for all students.”

In her lawsuit, Kinsman accused the university of failing to properly investigate the case, violating Title IX, which requires schools to address sexual violence. The accusations were not made public until almost a year after the alleged rape, the Times notes. 

Winston has denied the allegations and, as the site notes, was not subject to an interview for the brief police investigation. In 2013, prosecutors did not charge him; nor was he disciplined after a school code-of-conduct hearing in 2014. 

There is still a separate lawsuit against Winston for sexual battery pending in federal court. An investigation of the university by the U.S. Department of Education is also pending, the Times notes. 

FSU President John Thrasher said in a statement that the university was settling to avoid further litigation expense. 

“Although we regret we will never be able to tell our full story in court, it is apparent that a trial many months from now would have left FSU fighting over the past rather than looking toward its very bright future,” Thrasher said in the statement. “We have decided to instead move forward even though we have full faith that the ultimate outcome of a trial would have been consistent with the previous law-enforcement investigations and retired Supreme Court Justice Major Harding’s findings in the student-conduct hearing.

“With all the economic demands we face, at some point it doesn’t make sense to continue even though we are convinced we would have prevailed,” he added, according to the Times. 

After the allegations, Winston won the Heisman Trophy and led the university’s team to a national championship before leading it to an undefeated regular season the following year. He was drafted No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2015 NFL draft, starting all 16 games this season. 

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