Judge upholds Jameis Winston’s defamation claim against accuser

Tuesday September 15th, 2015

A federal judge has upheld Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston’s defamation claims against the woman who accuses him of sexual assault but dismissed another claim of tortious interference, according to USA Today

“(T)he Court rejects Mr. Winston's argument that his tortious interference count is legally independent from his defamation claims,” district judge Anne C. Conway wrote in her ruling. “The tortious interference count is based squarely on the alleged defamatory statements.”

The woman, who alleges Winston raped her in December 2012 while they were both students at Florida State University. Winston never faced criminal charges in the case after an investigation by Tallahassee police that was fraught with controversy. A report by Fox Sports in October 2014 found that TPD and FSU officials “took steps to both hide, and then hinder” the investigation into the woman’s accusation. The New York Times also outlined the flaws of the investigation in an April 2014 report. ​

McCANN: Analyzing civil lawsuit against Jameis Winston

The woman filed the civil suit against Winston in April and Winston filed a countersuit in May. The woman also filed a Title IX lawsuit against Florida State in January. 

Winston had a two-day hearing in December 2014 to determine whether he had violated the school’s Code of Conduct and was cleared.

Winston was selected by the Buccaneers with the first pick in this spring’s draft and made his NFL debut on Sunday.

- Dan Gartland

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