Top NFL draft pick denies rape allegations

Published 12:40 pm Saturday, May 9, 2015

ATLANTA — Attorneys for No. 1 NFL pick Jameis Winston said in a federal court filing that the former Florida State University quarterback did not rape a woman who is suing him and that she is motivated by greed.

Attorneys John F. Myers and David Cornwell Sr. filed a counterclaim Friday against Erica Kinsman in court in Orlando for the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kinsman, a former student at Florida State, filed suit against Winston last month, saying she was intoxicated at a Tallahassee bar in December 2012 when Winston and others took her back to an off-campus apartment and that he sexually assaulted her. Her lawsuit, filed two weeks before the April 30 NFL draft, accused Winston of rape, assault, false imprisonment and emotional distress.

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Winston signed a four-year, $23.35 million contract with Tampa Bay and was at the start of rookie minicamp on Friday. He could not immediately be reached Saturday.

Winston has repeatedly denied the allegations in the past and prosecutors declined to file charges against him in late 2013. He also was cleared by the university following a two-day student conduct hearing last year. The hearing was held to determine whether Winston violated four sections of the code of conduct — two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment.

The Associated Press doesn’t routinely identify people who say they’re sexual assault victims. However, Kinsman told her story publicly in a documentary.

Telephone messages left by The Associated Press with the attorneys listed on court documents for Kinsman and Winston weren’t immediately returned Saturday.

In the counterclaim, the lawyers said Kinsman has told “many different and inconsistent accounts of her sexual encounter” with Winston.

“Ms. Kinsman has been successful in one major area,” the filing said. “She has mounted a false and vicious media campaign to vilify Mr. Winston with the objective of getting him to pay her to go away. Ms. Kinsman is motivated by the most insidious objectives — greed,” it added.

The court filing said that after “the media circus she created” Kinsman’s lawyer had “initiated ‘settlement’ discussions” and that “in a later call Ms. Kinsman’s counsel demanded $7,000,000 from Mr. Winston.”

Friday’s filing by Winston’s attorneys said that the player’s contact with Kinsman was a “consensual sexual encounter” supported by medical evidence and two teammate witnesses.

The court filing obtained by AP and first reported by The Tampa Bay Times ( ) said Winston requested a jury hear the matter.

The filing points out that Kinsman chose to leave the bar and didn’t object in the taxi or when they got out.

It said Kinsman, afterward, rode on Winston’s motorscooter with “her arms wrapped around Mr. Winston’s waist.”

“Ms. Kinsman got off the scooter, gave Mr. Winston a hug, and walked … to her dormitory,” it said.

The filing said she made no call to 911 and didn’t call or text family or friends to tell them what happened. “Kinsman admits that she had access to her phone, but she did not use it to call for aid,” it said.

The filing added, “Ms. Kinsman has made the False Statements in an effort to cause damage to Mr. Winston’s reputation and to coerce and extort him to give her money and ‘make her go away.’ Ms. Kinsman was aware that Mr. Winston was likely to earn a substantial amount of money in salary, bonuses, and endorsements as a professional NFL football player.”

The counterclaim added that “Ms. Kinsman’s publication of the False Statements tarnished Mr. Winston’s reputation and public image, and caused him to incur actual damages.”

“… Her False Statements are per se defamatory because she has repeatedly accused him of committing a crime that he did not commit” it added, stating that the quarterback suffered actual damages “greater than $75,000.”

John Clune, a lawyer for Kinsman, had said in a statement shortly after Kinsman’s suit was filed there are consequences for Winston’s behavior “and since others have refused to hold him accountable, our client will.”

“Erica hopes to show other survivors the strength and empowerment that can come from refusing to stay silent no matter what forces are against you,” Clune said in that statement last month. “Jameis Winston in contrast has proven time and time again to be an entitled athlete who believes he can take what he wants.”