Although there are only two weeks left before the NFL draft, when the Buccaneers are expected to choose Jameis Winston as the No. 1 pick, the former FSU star quarterback was sued by a woman that had accused him of rape in December 2012.
Erica Kinsman, who is also a former Florida State University student, recently filed a lawsuit accusing Winston of sexual assault, sexual battery, and false imprisonment. She also claims “intentional infliction of emotional distress arising out of forcible rape.”
Kinsman wants a fair trial and proper monetary compensation for all the past and future suffering inflicted by the Buccaneers’ player. She also seeks damages for physical injuries and suffering, for mental and emotional distress, for pain and suffering, for the lost opportunities and benefits her education may have brought, for her “impaired earnings capacity”, and the loss of the “enjoyment of life.”
The Buccaneers reported yesterday that the suit won’t influence their current draft plans.
John Clune, Ms. Kinsman’s Colorado attorney , described her as a very brave woman who wasn’t easily intimidated although he had all the motives in the world to be. He mentioned that she had to go through an unprofessional police investigation, the hostility of the FSU athletic department, and the harshness of Mr. Winston’s attorney.
But despite all those forces that tried to make her not break the silence, she became more and more determined to hold Mr. Winston accountable for his deeds, Mr. Clune added. Mr. Clune also profiled Mr. Winston, describing him as an elite athlete who thinks he can take whatever he wants.
“He took something here that he was not entitled to and he hurt someone. There are consequences for that behavior and since others have refused to hold him accountable, our client will,”
Ms. Kinsman’s attorney also said.
Mr. Winston’s attorney David Cornwell declined to comment on the lawsuit but he provided clues that a counter-lawsuit could be filed on his client’s behalf at any moment.
Bucs’ GM Jason Licht told reporters that his club performed exhaustive background checks on Winston and 75 more people before their interviews. The Bucs’ owner selected Winston, who had proven to be the most “comfortable” option when compared to the potential No. 1 pick Marcus Mariota.
Ms. Kinsman and her lawyers claim that the Tallahassee Police Department wrongly tagged the case as “inactive” although investigators told the woman that the investigation was ongoing. And Ms. Kinsman really believed that the police was investigating her case until a reporter made an inquiry.
The woman also claims that she was forced to leave FSU because of a series of abuses and death threats. She even sued FSU, but used an alias to hide her identity and stay protected from further backlash. However, since that lawsuit she changed her mind and started talking about her tragic experience in a documentary about how colleges handle the epidemic of rapes on their campuses.
Ms. Kinsman explained in the documentary that she quickly became a persona non grata after accusing Winston of rape. She also said that everyone was calling her a slut and a whore while they continued to praise him.
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