Jameis Winston Accuser Files Title IX Lawsuit Against FSU

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The woman who accused Jameis Winston of raping her on Dec. 7, 2012, has filed a federal Title IX lawsuit against Florida State University, accusing the school's administration of failing to obey federal Title IX laws upon becoming aware of the rape allegation.

According to Title IX, universities are required to conduct their own investigations into allegations of sexual assault regardless of whether the case is being investigated by police. As a general rule, these investigations are supposed to be wrapped up within 60 days of the university becoming aware of the alleged assault.

According to Winston's accuser's lawsuit, members of the FSU athletics department, including head football coach Jimbo Fisher and senior associate athletics director Monk Bonasorte, became aware of the accusation against Winston in January of 2013, but nobody got around to alerting the school's Title IX coordinator until the following November, when TMZ publicly broke the story. From the lawsuit:

The FSU Athletics Department chose to violate school policy and not report to the FSU administration that their star recruit had been identified as the suspect in the December 7, 2012 rape investigation. This deliberate concealment of student-on-student sexual harassment to protect the football program deprived Plaintiff of her rights under Title IX and caused substantial damages


Sitting on a rape allegation for nine months seems like a pretty clear violation of Title IX laws, and based on what we know so far, FSU isn't really in a good position to argue against the lawsuit. In an open letter sent to the Florida State community in October, the university laid out a timeline that exactly matches the one in the lawsuit:

The first time anyone at FSU outside the campus police and Victim Advocate Program learned about the alleged sexual assault was in January 2013, when a Tallahassee PD detective called the athlete on his cellphone. The athlete immediately notified the Athletics Department, where officials referred him and his family to a Tallahassee attorney.


The Athletics Department also considered accounts by the athlete and two other FSU student athletes who were present at the encounter. All three independently described it as consensual. Based on that and the TPD's decision, the Athletics Department did not file a report with the University's Title IX administrator or the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.


You can read the entire lawsuit below.