Jameis Winston’s Accuser Files Federal Title IX Lawsuit Against Florida State University
The woman who accused Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston of rape has filed a federal Title IX lawsuit against FSU, alleging that the school "created a hostile education environment."
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the woman, referred to only as Jane Doe in her complaint, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Orlando on Tuesday. She is alleging that the university intentionally hindered the police investigation against Winston so that his football career wouldn't be jeopardized. If you're unfamiliar with how it all played out, I can tell you that it seems like it was one of the jankiest criminal investigations in the history of janky criminal investigations.
An FSU campus disciplinary board recently ruled that Winston couldn't be found to have violated the student code of conduct because the evidence was "insufficient to satisfy the burden of proof." VICE Sports obtained a copy of the 214-page hearing transcript, and has described, in detail, the mass-confusion and questionable decision-making that went into that ruling.
Jane Doe alleges that after the rape, the campus of FSU "became a sexually hostile environment where her rapist roamed free and could turn up at any moment, where she became the target of death threats and vilification campaigns." The harassment was terrifying, the complaint alleges:
Plaintiff received threats on her life on various social media outlets. Her sorority received a threat to burn their house down. The tires on a car belonging to a sorority sister were slashed; and other sorority sisters were targeted and threatened. Personal information about Plaintiff was leaked and spread across the Internet. False anddefamatory attacks, including Photoshopped photos of Plaintiff, appeared. She was called a slut, whore, cleatchaser, and other obscenities not worthy of reproduction here. Her parents and brother's phone numbers and addresses were broadcast. The dread and foreboding she had felt all year at FSU came to an explosive head.
On November 13, 2013, Plaintiff's mother came to FSU in Tallahassee to bring her daughter home the next day. Plaintiff would never be able to attend classes there again. Her dream college education was permanently lost.
She goes on to state that she believes that the university clearly violated Title IX by refusing to put a stop to the harassment:
Had FSU . . . instead 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. Instead, plaintiff was forced to leave campus while Winston remains, having suffered no consequences.
Wednesday, Winston announced that he would be leaving FSU and enter the NFL Draft. While this does get Winston off of the campus of FSU, that doesn't solve the real issue here - if everything that is being alleged is true, there was gross misconduct by several different people in the handling of this case. If these allegations are found to be true, I hope that they, too, will be leaving the campus of FSU.
And will there be an NFL team out there that will want him? Winston's performance in the Rose Bowl vs. the Oregon Ducks was laughable at best, and after a year filled with scandalous headlines in regards to several different NFL players, I feel like teams would be wise to steer clear of an alleged rapist.
I guess that's never stopped them in the past, though.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the YWCA of West Central Michigan’s 24-Hour Confidential Crisis Line at 616.776.RAPE. For all other YWCA Sexual Assault Services call 616.459.4652