Eric Kinsman is filing a civil lawsuit against Jameis Winston, accusing the Florida State University quarterback of rape. A copy of the suit leaked to the internet could show potentially damaging new information for the likely No. 1 draft pick.
Kinsman had initially accused Winston of rape after an incident in December, 2012. After an investigation, prosecutors ultimately decided there was not enough evidence to move the case forward, and Kinsman shifted her complaint to civil court. She is now suing Winston for “sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising out of forcible rape.”
The lawsuit was obtained by Vice Sports and posted to the internet, showing two new pieces of information not included in the initial investigation. One is a Facebook message from one of Winston’s teammates who was present the night the alleged rape took place, Ronald Darby.
“The complaint adds a new wrinkle to this story: ‘Darby also entered the room but told Winston, ‘Dude, she is telling you to stop,” it reads. In response, Kinsman says, ‘Winston picked her up in a fireman’s carry, walked her into his bathroom, deposited her onto the hard floor, and locked the door.’ Kinsman says that Darby then left. For the first time ever, we learn that ‘the next day, [Darby] posted to his Facebook page ‘I feel the worst I almost felt in my life Smh #stupid.””
Kinsman’s lawyers were also able to find the cab driver who drove her, along with Winston and two of his teammates, to Winston’s apartment on the night the alleged assault took place. Police were not able to find the cab driver, who may be able to speak to claims that she felt forced into going with Winston.
The lawsuit from Erica Kinsman highlights some of the failures of the police investigation. Many have criticized the Tallahassee Police Department for its handling of the case and how it went about collecting evidence and interviewing potential witnesses. Both the cab driver and one of Winston’s roommates were not interviewed by police, for example, which at the time raised questions that the police were protecting a then-budding star on the FSU football team.
The lawsuit comes just weeks before the NFL Draft, where Jameis Winston is expected to go first overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There have been rumors that the Bucs are wary of Winston’s character issues, and some believe that the lawsuit from Erica Kinsman may give them an “out” needed to move on and select Marcus Mariota instead.
[Image via Flickr]