Advertisement
  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 mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Memphis coach Penny Hardaway, left, talks to center James Wiseman during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Oregon won 82-74. CRAIG MITCHELLDYER  |  AP
    The 7-foot-1 center can play in the Jan. 12 game at the Yuengling Center after missing 12 games in an illegal benefits case, the NCAA says. The school says it will appeal.
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) is tackled on a pass play by New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Demario Davis (56) during the second quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. Brate is the only Bucs receiver besides Mike Evans and Chris Godwin who averages more than four targets a game. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    They have a great 1-2 punch in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Problems arise when the duo is neutralized.
  3. Miami Hurricanes running back DeeJay Dallas (13) carries during the second quarter of the game at Camping World Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.  MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Florida Gators against Miami, again? Jimbo Fisher vs. Florida State?
  4. Pat Williams, co-founder of the NBA Orlando Magic basketball team, kisses a baseball at a news conference to announce a campaign to bring a Major League Baseball team to Orlando, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 in Orlando, Fla. Williams brought good luck to the Orlando Magic by kissing ping pong balls before the NBA draft two years in a row bringing the number one picks twice. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    John Romano | While communities across North America are gearing up for MLB expansion or relocation, Tampa Bay seems to be reacting with indifference to Rays attendance and stadium concerns.
  5. Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Matt Duffy (5) singles in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Jose De Leon is traded; Vidal Brujan, Jake Cronenworth, Lucius Fox, Ronaldo Hernandez, Kevin Padlo are added to roster.
  6. Lightning travel to Chicago and more sports on the air.
  7. Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock reacts as his team plays the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Toronto. NATHAN DENETTE  |  AP
    The struggling Maple Leafs are 9-10-4 this season. Sheldon Keefe, coach of the AHL Toronto Marlies, takes over.
  8. Third-year USF men's basketball coach Brian Gregory added two players during the NCAA's week-long early signing period. [Times files]
    The Nigeria native with the elongated wingspan becomes the Bulls’ second signee in a week
  9. The Lightning were making progress in four good games but turned the puck over too much against St. Louis
  10. New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94), New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Demario Davis (56) and New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) sack Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Bucs QB is battling an ankle injury but he will play Sunday in front of 80 family and friends
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement