Florida State on Monday filed a motion to dismiss a Title IX lawsuit filed against the school by the woman who has accused football player Jameis Winston of raping her in December 2012.
In her lawsuit, Winston's accuser claimed:
For the next eleven months, FSU did nothing to investigate Plaintiff's report of rape while the FSU Athletics Department continued to keep the incident a secret.
Despite Plaintiff's report to the FSU Police and the FSU Athletics Department's knowledge of the suspect's identity, no one at FSU conducted any investigation into the matter.
Winston, meanwhile, was named starting quarterback of the football team and, in the fall of 2013, led FSU in the pursuit of a national championship.
In the motion filed yesterday by Florida State, university officials claim three bases for dismissal:
"FSU is not liable for any alleged harassment caused by Kinsman's having to be on campus with Winston."
Florida State claims that no one at the university other than her confidential victim advocate knew about the alleged assault before the media broke the story nearly a year after the alleged incident took place.
The alleged victim reported the incident immediately to Tallahassee Police Det. Scott Angulo and self-identified Winston nearly a month later when she learned his name on the first day of a "Race and Ethnicity" class.
Florida State, however, says the university Police Chief David Perry received the report of the Winston investigation on Nov. 8, 2013.
FSU claims it is not responsible for the student feeling harassed as a result of her alleged attacker remaining on campus because neither of the people she reported the allegations to were liable school officials.
In her lawsuit, the student claims she discussed her position with her victim advocate, and decided to continue trying to attend classes because she was not told of any other accommodations that could be made for her. FSU's motion to dismiss claims the school is not liable for the alleged victim's discomfort because she did not explicitly ask for other accommodations.
"FSU is not liable for any harassment caused by alleged social media threats directed at [the alleged victim]."
Florida State claims that the alleged victim was harassed as a result of the media reporting on her accusations against Winston, and that they could not possibly control the "Internet nor the vicious trolls who allegedly used it to harass" the student.
"FSU is not liable for [the victim's] alleged exclusion from school."
Florida State cites a letter from the alleged victim's attorney that states: "It is hard to envision any scenario where any result of a disciplinary action could eliminate the hostile education environment [...] In fact, if Mr. Winston were found by a conduct board to have sexually assaulted [the alleged victim], and he were ultimately suspended or expelled, [the alleged victim] would likely be in greater danger than if the conduct board ruled against her."
Presumably, the attorney's letter suggests Florida State football fans would be more agitated by any course of action that resulted in his involuntary removal from the school, and the team.
Florida State argues that the alleged victim left the school only "24 hours" after her allegations against Winston became public, and did not allow the school time to properly investigate the already year-old accusations.
Florida State's motion to dismiss focuses heavily on their insistence that no one at FSU other than her confidential victim's advocate was made aware of her accusations until they became public.
In her Title IX lawsuit, the student claims that just after the alleged incident, her friend came over to her dorm and called the FSU Police.
Winston's accuser says FSU Police Officer Dinorah Harris arrived at her dorm and took her to the hospital to undergo a rape kit. In the Title IX lawsuit against FSU, the alleged victim claims that "After December 7, 2012, FSU Police made no further effort to investigate Plaintiff's rape."
Angulo and the Tallahassee Police Department's reluctance to investigate Winston was first reported by the New York Times in April 2014:
After the accuser identified Mr. Winston as her assailant, the police did not even attempt to interview him for nearly two weeks and never obtained his DNA.
The detective handling the case waited two months to write his first report and then prematurely suspended his inquiry without informing the accuser. By the time the prosecutor got the case, important evidence had disappeared, including the video of the sexual act.
Florida State says that by filing the motion to dismiss the Title IX lawsuit brought by Winston's accuser, it "finds itself in the unusual and unwelcome position of being adverse to a former student and alleged sexual assault victim."
Winston's accuser has since transferred to a different university. She told her version of the alleged rape on camera for the first time in The Hunting Ground.
Winston has also left Florida State, and is expected to be taken first overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.