Quarterback Winston files counterclaim against rape accuser

Sat May 9, 2015 1:23am EDT
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(Reuters) - Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston on Friday filed a counterclaim against a woman who accused him of raping her in 2012 while she was a student at Florida State University, court records show.

Attorneys for Winston, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the first overall pick in the National Football League draft last Thursday, said in the filing against Erica Kinsman that her claims harmed his career and personal life.

"Mr. Winston brings this action against Ms. Kinsman out of necessity, not malice or ill will," the document said. "Nonetheless, Ms. Kinsman's false statements have irreparably harmed his professional and personal life."

Winston is seeking damages in excess of $75,000.

John Clune, Kinsman's attorney, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Kinsman last month sued Winston, seeking unspecified financial damages, in part to force him to answer questions under oath about what happened, Clune said then.

During a student conduct hearing last fall, Winston did not answer questions but detailed in a statement his version of the December 2012 encounter after the pair met at a bar near campus. At the time, she was a freshman at Florida State and he was a promising recruit.

Winston went on to win the Heisman Trophy as the top U.S. college football player in 2013. As his football career has soared, Winston has faced questions about his off-the-field behavior in college.

In addition to the rape allegations, he was also given a one-game suspension for yelling a vulgar phrase in a campus courtyard and was issued a civil citation in a supermarket shoplifting incident.   Continued...

May 1, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is introduced at a press conference at One Buc Place the day after being selected as the number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports