FSU will pay Jameis Winston accuser $950k

Posted at 12:46 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 12:57:26-05

Florida State University says it's settling a lawsuit with a woman who said she was raped by former star quarterback Jameis Winston.

Her Title X suit against FSU also accused FSU of violating federal law by refusing to investigate and by covering up her allegations of a sexual assault on Dec. 7, 2012.

FSU President John Thrasher announced terms Monday. Thrasher says FSU will pay Erica Kinsman $250,000 and her attorneys $700,000. The lump sum payment of $950,000 is the largest in history to a single plaintiff to settle Title IX discrimination claims of this kind for a school’s indifference to a plaintiff’s sexual assault allegations.

Thrasher says the university is settling to avoid spending millions on the lawsuit. 

“We have an obligation to our students, their parents and Florida taxpayers to deal with this case, as we do all litigation, in a financially responsible manner,” Thrasher said. “With all the economic demands we face, at some point it doesn’t make sense to continue even though we are convinced we would have prevailed.”
The settlement also includes a five year commitment from FSU to sexual assault awareness, prevention, and training programs. In addition, FSU has agreed to increased transparency through publication of annual reports for the next five years about its programs to deter and address campus sexual assault.
Thrasher said that, contrary to the rampant misinformation and speculation surrounding this case, FSU “remains committed to making our campus safe for all students and our school free of sexual harassment and sexual assault. As I’ve said before, one sexual assault against or committed by an FSU student is one too many.”

Kinsman says the university failed to respond to allegations that Winston sexually assaulted Kinsman. “I’ll always be disappointed that I had to leave the school I dreamed of attending since I was little. I am happy that FSU has committed to continue making changes in order to ensure a safer environment for all students. My hope is that the federal investigation of my complaint by the Office of Civil Rights will produce even more positive change, not just at FSU, but across the country.”


Nov. 13, 2013 | Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston questioned in sexual assault

Nov. 20, 2013 | Did Tallahassee cop try to cover-up sexual assault accusation against FSU QB Jameis Winston?

Nov. 20, 2013 | Accuser's family statement bears troubling events in Jameis Winston sexual assault investigation

Nov. 21, 2013 | Lawyer: FSU QB Winston volunteered DNA to police

Dec. 5, 2013 | State Attorney Willie Meggs: No charges to be filed against Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston

Dec. 13, 2013 | Jameis Winston's accuser's attorney discusses rape investigation

Sept. 17, 2014 | FSU benches Jameis Winston for making "offensive and vulgar" comments about women

Oct. 10, 2014 | Florida State University defends how it handled Jameis Winston case

Oct. 11, 2014 | FSU, Police May Have Hindered Winston Investigation

Oct. 14, 2014 | Should Jameis Winston Drop Out?

Dec. 21, 2014 | Documents: QB Winston cleared in conduct hearing

Dec. 22: 2014 | Jameis Winston Cleared In FSU Code-Of-Conduct Case

Jan. 7, 2015 | Jameis Winston accuser sues FSU in federal court

April 16, 2015 | Lawsuit Filed Against Jameis Winston Weeks Before NFL Draft

April 17, 2015 | Jameis Winston's lawyer: Lawsuit by woman who claimed rape is a 'stunt'

March 10, 2015 | Florida State University asks judge to throw out lawsuit from Jameis Winston accuser

May 9, 2015 | Bucs QB Jameis Winston Files Countersuit Against Accuser

She has a separate lawsuit pending against Winston. There's also an ongoing federal investigation of FSU by the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. That investigation was initiated in March 2014 following Ms. Kinsman’s complaint to the Department and is expected to further address FSU’s Title IX deficiencies as well as any needed changes or monitoring of the university’s compliance.

Winston, now starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, denied Kinsman's allegation. FSU cleared him of wrongdoing.

A prosecutor didn't press criminal charges, saying there were gaps in Kinsman's story and insufficient evidence for a conviction.