Florida university to pay $1.35M after accusation of failure to respond to rape

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State University said Monday it's settling a lawsuit with a former student who said the school failed to respond when she accused former star quarterback Jameis Winston of rape.

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FSU will pay Erica Kinsman $357,000 ($250,000 U.S.) and her attorneys $1-million ($700,000 U.S.) university President John Thrasher said in a press release. He said FSU is settling to avoid spending millions on the lawsuit.

"Although we regret we will never be able to tell our full story in court, it is apparent that a trial many months from now would have left FSU fighting over the past rather than looking toward its very bright future," Thrasher said in the release.

As part of the settlement, FSU is making a five-year commitment to sexual assault awareness and prevention. The university also has agreed to publish annual reports for the next five years about those programs, attorneys for Kinsman, said in a separate statement.

Kinsman has said the university failed to respond to allegations that Winston sexually assaulted her and has a separate lawsuit pending against Winston. The former student has said she was drunk at a Tallahassee bar in December 2012 when Winston and others took her to an apartment, where she says the quarterback raped her.

Winston has said the allegations are false and that he and Kinsman had consensual sex. Prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to win a conviction and that there were gaps in Kinsman's story.

"My hope is that the federal investigation of my complaint by the Office of Civil Rights will produce even more positive change, not just at FSU, but across the country," Kinsman said in the statement. The Associated Press doesn't routinely identify people who say they're sexual assault victims, but Kinsman told her story publicly in a documentary.


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