Erica Kinsman, FSU Settle Lawsuit out of Court for $950,000By Russell Westerholm
The woman who accused Jameis Winston of raping her in Dec. 2012 has settled her lawsuit with Florida State University for its alleged indifference to her complaint.
Without admitting any wrongdoing toward Erica Kinsman, FSU agreed to pay her $950,000 to avoid going to trial, according to USA Today. As part of the settlement, FSU agreed to increase its efforts to prevent sexual assault on campus and offer better support to complainants.
"I will always be disappointed that I had to leave the school I dreamed of attending since I was little," Kinsman said in a statement. "I am happy that FSU has committed to continue making changes in order to ensure a safer environment for all students."
FSU is still under federal investigation from the U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights for possible violations of the Title IX and Clery Act laws. Though Kinsman filed the complaint that triggered the investigation, her lawsuit and its settlement will have no bearing.
"Although we regret we will never be able to tell our full story in court, it is apparent that a trial many months from now would have left FSU fighting over the past rather than looking toward its very bright future. We have decided to instead move forward even though we have full faith that the ultimate outcome of a trial would have been consistent with the previous law enforcement investigations and retired Supreme Court Justice Major Harding's findings in the student conduct hearing," FSU President John Thrasher said in a statement. "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.
"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."
Kinsman also has a pending lawsuit against her alleged attacker. Winston was an FSU football recruit when Kinsman accused him of raping her in his dorm room in Dec. 2012. Winston never faced criminal charges or student conduct penalties, though Kinsman has accused both FSU and the Tallahassee Police of preferentially treating the school's star quarterback.
The settlement Kinsman received is the largest ever won in a complaint like hers: alleged indifference to a sexual assault claim, USA Today noted. In addition to its increased measures to address campus sexual assault, FSU agreed to release annual reports detailing its progress for the next five years.