1. Sports

Jameis Winston, accuser settle sexual-assault lawsuit

Jameis Winston
Published Dec. 15, 2016

After months of litigation, a tentative settlement has been reached in the sexual-assault lawsuit against Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

Winston and the woman who accused him of sexual assault intend to dismiss the lawsuit within 20 days, according to federal court documents filed Wednesday.

Attorneys for both sides said separately that the case was "resolved to the satisfaction of the parties" but declined further comment. Terms of the settlement were not released.

Wednesday's move is one of the final steps in a case that dates to a December 2012 offcampus sexual encounter when Winston and Erica Kinsman of Zephyrhills, both 18 at the time, were students at Florida State.

Kinsman accused Winston of rape. Winston said the sex was consensual. Investigations by the Tallahassee Police Department and State Attorney's Office ended with no charges brought against Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner. Then-State Attorney Willie Meggs said he declined to bring charges because there was not enough evidence to get a conviction.

In 2014, a retired state Supreme Court justice who presided over an FSU code of conduct hearing cleared Winston of four violations, saying there was no way to know who was telling the truth in the case.

Two weeks before the Bucs chose Winston with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Kinsman filed a civil lawsuit against Winston, accusing him of sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment and inflicting emotional distress.

Winston filed a countersuit, saying Kinsman tried to defame him and her actions "irreparably harmed" him personally and professionally. The sides had a long negotiating session in July in Orlando, but the case continued.

A jury trial at U.S. District Court in Orlando had been scheduled for April.

The filing Wednesday in Kinsman's suit indicates both sides have "reached a compromise with contingencies."

The Bucs declined to comment.

Wednesday's settlement is separate from one that was reached this year in a suit Kinsman had filed against Florida State, accusing the university of "deliberate indifference" to her sexual assault complaint, a violation of the federal gender-equity law Title IX. Kinsman and FSU settled for $950,000 in January, with FSU admitting no wrongdoing.

A separate investigation by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights remains ongoing.

The case made national headlines beginning when it became public as Winston led the Seminoles to an undefeated season in 2013 and the national championship.

The case gained more notoriety last year when Kinsman shared her story in the documentary The Hunting Ground, about sexual assault on college campuses.

Winston has become one of the NFL's top young quarterbacks since joining the Bucs. He made the Pro Bowl last season as a rookie. This year he has guided the Bucs to an 8-5 record and into playoff contention heading into Sunday's game at Dallas, and his 23 touchdowns are tied for ninth in the league this year.

Contact Matt Baker at Follow @MBakerTBTimes.


  1. Counting down from 50 to 26: There will be a debate about the quarterbacks in this group and the receivers.
  2. In 1968, slugger Frank Howard, known as the "Washington Monument," proved to be one of the few bright spots for the Washington Senators. AP
    The Nationals’ improbable postseason run rekindles memories of the woeful Washington Senators
  3. Steve Young was a supplemental draft pick of the Bucs in 1984 and started 19 games for Tampa Bay in 1985 and 1986 before he was traded to the 49ers for a pair of draft picks in 1987. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Tampa Bay Times
    Counting down from No. 75 to 51: A reminder of how difficult it is to sustain a full NFL career.
  4. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, on left, along with Erik Neander, center, senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, and Chaim Bloom, senior vice president of baseball operations, address the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays Tales: Research now, action to come as Rays get caught up after playoff run. Plus, TV rating info and rumblings.
  5. Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman turned in some quality seasons, but never reached the playoffs. CLIFF MCBRIDE
    Counting down No. 100 to 76 includes one of the franchise’s biggest flops, an NFL rookie of the year and a future broadcasting star.
  6. Former Lightning wing Ryan Callahan's debut as an NHL Network analyst is drawing positive reviews. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Slap Shots: And we answer this week’s reader’s question: Why doesn’t Victor Hedman play more minutes, like other No. 1 defensemen?
  7. Mike Ditka was thrilled about getting a $12,000 salary with the Bears at age 22: "I went out and bought a new car. I had it going.” AP Photo/Matt Slocum
    He’s had a remarkable life as an NFL player, coach, actor and pitchman.
  8. Football teams around Tampa Bay are in action for Week 9 of the regular season. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    After Fort Lauderdale University closes in on the Marauders, the home team comes out of the break on fire.
  9. Football teams around Tampa Bay are in action for Week 9 of the regular season. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The energy is high early before the Dreadnaughts and weather dampen spirits.
  10. Football teams around Tampa Bay are in action for Week 9 of the regular season. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Hawks notch their fourth shutout of the season, this one against Jefferson.