Friday July 10th, 2015

A judge has denied the request of Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie quarterback Jameis Winston for a change of venue in the civil lawsuit filed by a woman who accused him of rape.

WESH-TV obtained the judge’s order and ruled that the trial will stay in Orlando, instead of Tallahassee where Winston and his lawyers wanted the trial to take place.

U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway said in denying the motion that Winston “failed to meet his burden of demonstrating that the balance of convenience is strongly in favor of transferring this case.”

Both Winston and the plaintiff, former Florida State University student Erica Kinsman, live in central Florida. Kinsman sued Winston in April, accusing him of rape, assault, false imprisonment and emotional distress. She says that she was drunk at Tallahassee bar in December 2012 when Winston took her to an apartment and raped her.

Winston has said they had consensual sex, and prosecutors declined to charge Winston, citing lack of evidence. Florida State cleared him of any wrongdoing during a student conduct hearing.

Winston filed a countersuit in May against Kinsman, claiming that she created a “media circus” and that her attorneys demanded a $7 million payment from Winston.

“Ms. Kinsman was aware that Mr. Winston was likely to earn a substantial amount of money in salary, bonuses, and endorsements as a professional NFL football player,” Winston’s lawyers wrote in a countersuit.

Winston, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2013, left school in January as a redshirt sophomore after leading the Seminoles to a national championship and a College Football Playoff appearance as a redshirt freshman.

Tampa Bay selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft and signed him to four-year, $23.35 million contract.

- Scooby Axson

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