While serving his three game suspension from the NFL for personal conduct violation, Jameis Winston was hoping the problems involving his March 2016 incident with an Uber driver in Arizona were behind him. Unfortunately for Winston and the Bucs, that is not the case, as things escalated Tuesday when the driver filed a Federal lawsuit in Arizona Court.
The accuser identified in court papers only as “Kate P,” filed the complaint in the District of Arizona mid-afternoon. In it, she alleges that Winston sexually assaulted her by inappropriately touching her crotch, while sitting in the front seat of her Uber on Saturday night March 12, 2016. The incident occurred after the conclusion of Winston’s rookie year with the Buccaneers and while he was doing off season conditioning work in the Phoenix area.
The story only came to light last November, when the accuser went public anonymously in an internet story detailing the charges. This included her having immediately told her employer, Uber, and having filed a report about Winston’s behavior that March night. Uber contacted Winston for his side of the story, and eventually banned him for life from using their service.
The eight page lawsuit alleges that “Kate” has suffered “emotional distress” and is seeking “punitive damages” from the fourth year Bucs QB.
It’s important to note that no criminal charges were filed then, nor have been until this point. However, it has long been anticipated that the accuser would likely sue Winston over the incident. And, now that has happened.
The lawsuit was filed by the Phoenix law office of attorney Sara Powell. More prominently, attorney John Clune of Boulder Colorado, who’s been involved in several prominent lawsuits for accusers against athletes in the past, is also part of the complaint against Winston.
The NFL conducted an eight-month investigation of the March 2016 incident and eventually suspended Wednesday for three games in late June. They concluded that the driver was “consistent and credible” with her story, and the evidence she provided to the NFL.
Winston is currently serving the final game of that suspension this week, and has had no formal contact with the team since the regular season began.
Comment from Uber driver’s lawyer, John Clune: “For months she has been unimpressed with his lack of candor or insight into his behavior. The parties had been talking to see if they could agree to a resolution but he … became unresponsive.”
— Eric Adelson (@eric_adelson) September 18, 2018
As of Tuesday night, Wednesday night nor his representatives had commented on the lawsuit. The Buccaneers also had no comment as of Tuesday evening.
It’s also important to note, that this lawsuit does not have bearing on Winston reinstatement by the NFL. Once the suspension is over after the Steelers game, the NFL will consider this part of the matter closed.
That is until and unless, there are further allegations of misconduct by Winston.
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