After seeking and failing to get a lawsuit filed against tossed, at least for now, Florida State has claimed one legal victory.
The Associated Press reported Monday that the lawsuit filed against the university by Erica Kinsman, the former FSU student who accused Jameis Winston of raping her, has been moved from a federal court in Orlando to one in Tallahassee. The U.S. District Judge in Orlando, Gregory Presnell, agreed with FSU’s contention that he had no jurisdiction over the school.
Kinsman’s lawyers had argued against the change of venue, with the alleged victim claiming she fearful of her safety if the case was moved to Tallahassee. She also feared she couldn’t get a fair trial in the same city in which Winston had starred for the Seminoles.
In January of this year, Kinsman filed the lawsuit, seeking a trial by jury and damages, against the university’s trustees. In the suit, it was claimed that the university was responsible for Title IX violations because of a ‘clearly unreasonable response'” to the sexual assault allegations and “allowing a ‘hostile educational environment.'”
Winston was never charged criminally in connection to the allegations of sexual assault. The lawsuit was filed nearly three weeks after Winston was cleared in the school code of conduct hearing, which was also connected to the rape allegations. The accuser appealed that ruling, but it was subsequently upheld.
In April of last year, attorney’s for the accuser blasted the university for either delaying or outright terminating a Title IX investigation into the allegations. Five months later, it was reported that the university had reopened the investigation.
Winston’s adviser subsequently released a scathing statement claiming that the accuser was the one dragging her feet when it came to the federally-mandated investigation. That adviser, David Cornwell, also accused the alleged victim’s camp of seeking $7 million from Winston to keep quiet.
Also in April of last year, it was reported that the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has launched its own investigation into FSU’s handling of the case.