The woman who accused Florida State University, quarterback Jameis Winston of rape has filed a federal Title IX lawsuit against FSU, alleging that the school "created a hostile education environment."
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the woman, referred to as Jane Doe in her complaint, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Orlando on Tuesday. She alleges that FSU intentionally hindered the police investigation against Winston so his football career wouldn't be jeopardized. (Police opted not to file criminal charges against Winston, after an investigation best described as fully half-assed. )
An FSU campus disciplinary board recently ruled there he couldn't be found to have violated the student code of conduct because the evidence was "insufficient to satisfy the burden of proof." Doe alleges that after the rape, the campus "became a sexually hostile environment where her rapist roamed free and could turn up at any moment, where she became the target of death threats and vilification campaigns." The harassment was frequently terrifying, the complaint says:
Plaintiff received threats on her life on various social media outlets. Her sorority received a threat to burn their house down. The tires on a car belonging to a sorority sister were slashed; and other sorority sisters were targeted and threatened. Personal information about Plaintiff was leaked and spread across the Internet. False and defamatory attacks, including Photoshopped photos of Plaintiff, appeared. She was called a slut, whore, cleatchaser, and other obscenities not worthy of reproduction here. Her parents and brother's phone numbers and addresses were broadcast. The dread and foreboding she had felt all year at FSU came to an explosive head.
On November 13, 2013, Plaintiff's mother came to FSU in Tallahassee to bring her daughter home the next day. Plaintiff would never be able to attend classes there again. Her dream college education was permanently lost.
Doe alleges FSU clearly violated Title IX by not putting a stop to the harassment:
Had FSU . . . instead complied with its own policies and federal law by promptly investigating plaintiff's rape and sanctioning Winston while protecting plaintiff's safety, Winston would have been removed as a threat to plaintiff long before ever suiting up to play football in a Seminoles jersey, and plaintiff would be on campus progressing toward an FSU degree. Instead, plaintiff was forced to leave campus while Winston remains, having suffered no consequences.
Doe is asking for a trial by jury and compensatory damages. Earlier today, Winston announced his plans to leave Florida State and enter the NFL draft.
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