FSU reaches settlement in the Jameis Winston case

Courtesy of ESPN

Florida State University reached a settlement Jan. 25 with the accuser in the Jameis Winston case for a lump sum of $950,000.

Erica Kinsman will receive $250,000 and her attorneys will receive $700,000, according to FSUNews.com


In December 2012, Kinsman filed a police report for sexual assault. The following month, she named Winston as the assailant. After two years of investigation, Kinsman chose to sue Winston for sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising out of forcible rape. Winston stated that the sex was consensual.

Initially, Kinsman asked for compensation for damages in excess of $15,000 and other relief funds the Court deemed justifiable. But on Jan. 7, 2015, she filed a lawsuit against FSU accusing them of violating her rights under Title IX.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a clause in the 1972 Education Act stating that no person in the United States shall be denied benefits of any educational program or activity that receives federal financial assistance based on sex.

Essentially, no federally funded school can discriminate against students because of their sex.

Kinsman claims that FSU did nothing to investigate the plaintiff report of rape while the FSU Athletics Department continued to keep the incident a secret, according to CNN.

Even if criminal charges are not filed, Title IX requires schools to investigate allegations of sexual assault.

According to CNN reporters Ashley Fantz and Steve Almasy, FSU President John Thrasher stated that the university asked Kinsman or her attorneys on several occasions over the course of 20 months to give a statement that would permit a Title IX investigation. FSU’s handling of this matter was a result of the plaintiff’s decisions on how to proceed, not by the athletic department.

A federal judge later denied FSU’s request to dismiss the Title IX lawsuit.

“The judge says he could not dismiss FSU's case because some of the facts in the complaint show the university responded with diligence to the accusations. The court says they do not resolve factual disputes on a motion to dismiss,” Amanda Blomquist told WTXL.

Kinsman claimed that she was discriminated against by bullying caused by being on campus with Winston, harassment in not being able to return to the school, and harassment from third parties on social media.

FSU claimed that some of these complaints failed to meet one or more of the four criteria for a Title IX suit.

The university chose to settle so that they can focus on the future of the school, rather than the past, even if they will never get the chance to express their full side of the story.

"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," Thrasher said in an FSU press release.