Jameis Winston’s Accuser Files Title IX Lawsuit Against FSU

Use quotes to search for exact phrases. Use AND/OR/NOT between keywords or phrases for more precise search results.

News Violence

Jameis Winston’s Accuser Files Title IX Lawsuit Against FSU

Teddy Wilson

The woman who accused Florida State University (FSU) quarterback Jameis Winston of raping her filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court Wednesday against the university’s trustees. The accuser claims that the university violated her Title IX rights by refusing to properly investigate the incident.

The woman who accused Florida State University (FSU) quarterback Jameis Winston of raping her filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court Wednesday against the university’s trustees. The accuser claims that the university violated her Title IX rights by refusing to properly investigate the incident.

University president John Thrasher issued a statement in response to the lawsuit and defended FSU, calling the allegations “meritless.”

“Evidence will show that through its confidential Victim Advocate Program, FSU did everything the plaintiff asked for and that the assertions FSU shirked its Title IX obligations are false,” Thrasher said in the statement.

FSU is one of 76 colleges under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for how it has handled campus sexual assault cases.

Roe has collapsed and Texas is in chaos.

Stay up to date with The Fallout, a newsletter from our expert journalists.

SUBSCRIBE

The lawsuit was filed on the same day that Winston announced he will enter the 2015 NFL Draft, in a statement issued by the sports agency that will represent him. The rape allegations against Winston, as well as other off-the-field incidents, have caused much speculation about his future as a professional football player.

The accuser, named in the complaint as Jane Doe, says that she was raped by Winston in December 2012, and that a second woman told a victim’s advocate in 2013 that she also had been raped by Winston.

If FSU “complied with its own policies and federal law by promptly investigating plaintiff’s rape and sanctioning Winston while protecting plaintiff’s safety, Winston would have been removed as a threat to plaintiff long before ever suiting up to play football in a Seminoles jersey, and plaintiff would be on campus progressing toward an FSU degree,” the complaint says, according to a news report from the Orlando Sentinel.

The complaint claims that the university’s head football coach, Jimbo Fisher, and athletic director, Frances Bonasorte, among other “high-ranking FSU Athletic Department football officials,” led a “deliberate concealment of student-on-student sexual harassment to protect the football program,” which “deprived Plaintiff of her rights under Title IX and caused substantial damages.”

The lawsuit comes after a FSU disciplinary hearing cleared Winston of violating FSU’s student code of conduct. After a two-day hearing that ended on December 3, retired Florida State Supreme Court Judge Major Harding found that there was not enough evidence to prove that Winston had violated the school’s student conduct code.

Winston and his accuser gave dramatically different accounts of the incident during the hearing, reported the New York Times.

During the hearing the accuser said she remembered being raped and telling Winston to stop. “I remember pleading with him to stop clearly,” she said, according to the transcript.

Winston claimed that the sex was consensual, and read a statement during the hearing in which he called her a liar. However, when Harding asked Winston “in what manner, verbally or physically,” did the woman give her consent to sex, Winston said she provided consent by “moaning.”

Winston’s lawyer, David Cornwell, had announced the ruling on his Twitter account. “In sum the preponderance of the evidence has not shown that you are responsible for ANY [sic] of the charged violations of the Code,” Cornwell reportedly posted.

Cornwell had previously taken to Twitter to publicly disclose the name of Winston’s accuser, and has reportedly disclosed the name publicly on multiple occasions. Cornwell’s Twitter account has apparently been deleted.

Cornwell declined to comment publicly on the Title IX lawsuit to multiple media outlets. Cornwell had previously stated that any civil lawsuit against Winston by his accuser would be met with counter lawsuits against the woman’s attorneys.