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Civil suit against Jameis Winston appears to be developing

Jameis Winston vs Florida AP

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was accused of sexual assault last fall, but an investigation ended up with no charges pressed against the Heisman Trophy quarterback. Though Winston escaped criminal charges, a civil case appears to be looming. According to a report published Friday by FOX Sports, the lawyer representing Winston’s accuser has hired two high-profile attorneys specializing in sexual assault and Title IX cases.

According to the report, attorneys John Clune and Baine Kerr will work with Patricia Carroll “to evaluate the conduct of a number of individuals and entities in this matter and assess their civil and criminal liability.” Carroll is the lawyer who has been representing Winston’s accuser. In addition to Winston, the attorneys will review the possibility of pursuing civil action against Florida State University and Tallahassee police. When the investigation concluded there was not evidence to charge Winston last fall, just before the ACC Championship Game, Carroll made it clear her fight was not going to end.

At this time it is unknown if civil action will indeed be pursued. For now the legal team now assembled will review the situation, evidence and various reports to determine if civil action will be appropriate. It is likely a civil lawsuit will be presented.

“After meeting with them,” Carroll said in the FOX Sports report. “I am confident that anyone who has liability in this case will be held accountable and justice will be served for my client at the end of the day.”

It sure sounds as though the legal representation for Winston’s accuser is determined to pursue civil action. So, what does this mean as far as football is concerned?

First, we do not know what the timeline of any civil suit would follow yet so it is difficult to project. According to the Florida State Intercollegiate Athletics Policies and Procedures, any student found to be guilty of sexual harassment could be subject to expulsion from the university. This could be a gray area because Winston has not been charged with any crimes in the legal system and a civil lawsuit does not carry any jail time for being found guilty.

Whatever happens, it will be sure to cast a little bit of a dark cloud over Winston and could potentially hover over the university as a whole, but let’s hold off on too much speculation and legal analysis until a civil lawsuit is filed.

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24 Responses to “Civil suit against Jameis Winston appears to be developing”
  1. classyjacklambert says: Feb 15, 2014 1:20 PM

    There is very little doubt in my mind that this is what the whole media trial was all about from the beginning.

  2. keltictim says: Feb 15, 2014 1:29 PM

    Just because he was not charged does not mean he wasn’t guilty. Even those found not guilty in a criminal setting can be found guilty in a civil setting where the bar is much lower see Simpson, O.J. The real question is what NFL teams will do or not do if he’s found guilty/responsible in a civil suit. My guess would be he goes nuclear and nobody touches him.

  3. chicagocane says: Feb 15, 2014 1:30 PM

    Could the University end up in worse shape here if lawyers start digging and uncovering some real ugliness? I guess it was worth it though.

  4. goodfieldnohit says: Feb 15, 2014 1:49 PM

    He’s an alleged rapist, but Johnny Manziel is completely out of control, amiright?

  5. jmb795 says: Feb 15, 2014 1:52 PM

    Law ain’t about justice.
    It’s about settling.

  6. sammadison says: Feb 15, 2014 2:14 PM

    The whole accusation wreaked of settlement since day one. Now there are a lot of people passing judgement on here without know any or all of the facts so before you throw out words like rapist and coverup. Why don’t you go read the report. The entire report not just the juicy pieces that ESPN and TMZ highlights. And when you’ve read all 148 pages then you can come back here and pass judgement.

  7. guinsrule says: Feb 15, 2014 2:14 PM

    Out-of-Court Settlement with a Confidentiality Agreement

  8. Deb says: Feb 15, 2014 2:16 PM

    @keltictim …

    You might want to guess again about how the NFL will react to Winston, who has never even been arrested–which means law enforcement has never found probable cause that a crime occurred or that Winston committed a crime. Mark Sanchez was arrested for sexual assault while a student at USC, and it didn’t interfere with him being drafted or becoming the starting QB for an NFL team. (His meager talent eventually got the better of him, but that’s another story.)

    If there’s any organization in the world that understands public figures are walking targets for spurious accusations, it’s the NFL (NBA, NHL, etc.) I’ve read about women trying to recover semen from used condoms fished out of the trash in order to become impregnated with an 18-year meal ticket. Notice that since Winston has no bank account to tap, Carroll is investigating how she might sue the university and the police department. I’m not saying all accusations against athletes are false. They’re not. But when a woman–according to multiple witnesses and her own text messages–willingly leaves a bar with a group of men and willingly performs sex acts with them, it’s difficult for me to take seriously her claims of rape.

    Again, as a rape survivor myself, I’m disgusted by women who seem to see making a sexual assault claim as a profit opportunity. And any comparison of this situation to the O.J. Simpson case is moronic.

  9. balfe13 says: Feb 15, 2014 4:16 PM

    A person can’t be found “guilty” in a civil trial, one can only be found “liable.” Big difference.

  10. fsu01 says: Feb 15, 2014 5:17 PM

    sammadison, people have been trying to make that very point for a while. You are not going to convince anybody. People have already made up their mind and that is all that matters to those who want to believe he is either guilty or not guilty.

  11. musketmaniac says: Feb 15, 2014 5:35 PM

    burn that Seminole piece of …..See this is a good reason the Indians want their names off of sports teams. obviously every Seminole is not a rapist scum.

  12. speedel says: Feb 15, 2014 5:39 PM

    I dont know the statute of limitations in florida but it may have to do with him staying in school for another 2 years.

    If thats not an issue, why would you file this now, and not when he signs a big money contract? Seems revenge is more of a contributor then money.

    Either that or the target is the school and the PD.

    Clarifications would be thanked

  13. abrellbama says: Feb 15, 2014 9:12 PM

    Guess what? I have read the entire report. Did you see the 2 different police reports? One on 12/7/12 says the attacker is 5’9″-5’11” and the 2nd one on 12/7/12 says the attacker is around 6’2″ and give a much more detailed description. Did you see the 2 medical reports? I did. This case was botched from the very beginning and begs of coverup from the TPD. They didn’t even go to Potbelly’s to interview witnesses, Potbelly’s had 30 cameras and didn’t even get the surveillance video from any of them when it first took place. They refused to interview Chris Casher and refused to get DNA from Winston when requested to do. Botched, botched, botched. So what choice does she have but to go after a civil suit. She didn’t even name her attacker as Jameis Winston til 1/10/13 when she saw him in one of her classes. This had nothing to do with money but it does now because FSU boosters have paid off detectives to cover up and she is left with no choice at this point. The TPD and FSU are going to get it worse than Jameis Winston more than likely. Oh, he will pay and pay dearly but so will the TPD (city of Tallahassee) and FSU.

  14. musketmaniac says: Feb 15, 2014 9:56 PM

    She’s in line for half his signing bonus.

  15. oldschoolnflman says: Feb 15, 2014 10:53 PM

    All sex acts by anyone need to be taped. Guarantee rape accusations go down 300%. This generation of women are all self centered gold digging whores. Cant wait to develop technology where we dont need women to reproduce so we can phase the weaker sex out of society. Before you mock me, keep in mind being pro women for reproduction means you are antigay. #progressive # gay #Obama # hillary16

  16. keltictim says: Feb 15, 2014 10:54 PM

    @deb

    Sanchez was pre hernandez. Teams are looking at players who misbehave in college differently now. The comparison I was making to OJ was that somebody can be found not guilty criminally but guilty civilly, I wasn’t making any statement towards his guilt or innocence I was only making a point about the lower threshold of proof needed to find guilt. The kind of cases are impossible to tell who’s is lying and who isn’t. The duke lacrosse team comes to mind.

  17. bralinshan says: Feb 16, 2014 11:15 AM

    The “victim” was out with him at a club a few days later. This is not behavior of somebody whose been traumatized.
    The witnesses at the apartment said she got pissed that night when Winston couldn’t see her the next couple of days because his girlfriend was coming to town.
    This female is a money grubbing joke. For all of the conspiracy theorists about Winston being a star and therefore not prosecuted….
    Consider that FSU’s best WR was indicted and charged with rape last winter. Why didn’t the cops cover his backside?
    Second, Winston was a relative NOBODY at the point of this incident. In fact, he was about to engage in a heated QB battle with Jacob Coker and it went down to the wire. Coker can PLAY. He’s now at Alabama and will likely be their QB in the fall.
    The cops didn’t prosecute this case because it made no sense. Winston is finding out that when you’re potentially very wealthy, you’ll be the target of leeches. People who aren’t quite right in the head that want the money. This situation wasn’t even close to rape and the ONLY reason the police re-opened the case was because the national vulture media was on top of it. The WR indicted was a much bigger deal at the time than Winston and they had ZERO reason to protect him.
    Believe it or not, there are unstable people out in the world and he met one of them. There are also attorney’s willing to take big exposure cases on contingency to further their own agenda…and fill their pocket books with a “settlement”.

  18. bralinshan says: Feb 16, 2014 11:20 AM

    If Winston had flamed out and been replaced by Coker? He’d be a nobody and this “case” would have never happened. If he’d flunked out and went back to Junior College in Alabama? You don’t see a case. This is 100% generated by the publicity of going after a potentially wealthy and big name athlete.
    His national “stage” caused this situation to flare up.

  19. musketmaniac says: Feb 16, 2014 4:26 PM

    old school, women have done some damage. Hang out with me for a week, they be calling you new school. You got to look at the field correctly. These `gold digging whores` can be awesome if looked at differently. In my house there not gold digging whores, I prefer to refer to them as `farm equipment`. Its hard to treat women that you respect and like, as party favors. But the ones that lie and manipulate there is nothing you can’t do to them. so next time you got one on the stringer feed them a bunch of lies about money or fame get a hotel room and a couple of your buddies together and enjoy.

  20. mogogo1 says: Feb 17, 2014 11:40 AM

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see a settlement just to make it go away…and that is probably what the plaintiff is banking on because he details of the case will make it an extremely tough lawsuit to win.

    Her texts to her friend immediately before and after the alleged assault with none of them suggesting anything amiss would be hard to overcome. And a good defense lawyer would simply love to jump on the multiple theories she floated. There’s a possible head injury that the doctors couldn’t find, drugs that didn’t come up in the tests, and alcohol that also didn’t show in the test results.

  21. Deb says: Feb 17, 2014 1:28 PM

    @keltictim …

    I reacted to the Simpson comment because people drag up that case every time a DA fails to charge or someone is acquitted–as though it’s a given that all accused are actually guilty but somehow skirt the system a la O.J. In truth, the data suggests the system is more likely to convict an innocent defendant than free a guilty one. The Simpson (Zimmerman, Casey Anthony) verdict resulted from an incompetent prosecution. The Duke case is another where the firestorm can be traced back to an incompetent or even corrupt prosecutor.

  22. Deb says: Feb 17, 2014 1:34 PM

    abrellbama …

    You claim to have read the case files, but then declare “This had nothing to do with money but it does now because FSU boosters have paid off detectives to cover up …” You have absolutely no knowledge to support that assertion, and I can just imagine your reaction if this had been A.J. McCarron and an FSU fan were declaring without a shread of proof that Bama boosters paid off the detectives. You should be ashamed of yourself for damning Winston and those detectives based on NOTHING.

    As for the DNA … Winston never denied having sex with the accuser, so providing his DNA would not have changed the outcome of the investigation. Was the investigation poorly handled? Yes. Was it because someone was paid off? There’s no proof of that. There is, however, ample proof that the woman left with Winston of her own accord, that she freely engaged in sex acts with Winston, and that she was texting friends at the time of the alleged rape without giving the appearance of being in distress.

  23. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 17, 2014 3:26 PM

    I don’t know if Winston is guilty or not…. I read the full report and I feel like the needle for me is pointing more towards not, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t unanswered questions.

    And Winston was not acquitted of any criminal charges. If her attorney’s find more evidence, it’s possible Winston could still face criminal charges.

  24. onlyoneleft says: Feb 18, 2014 9:23 PM

    Winston is a good fb player, but like many others, has little upstairs or he would not get himself into this kind of predicament.

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