Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”
Allison Kinsman was an 18-year-old freshman at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, on the night in December 2012 on which she says she ran into a man at a Potbelly Sandwich Shop.
In a documentary film titled The Hunting Ground, Klinsman alleged that the man “creepily” followed her around throughout the night after meeting her, and only stopped when another man—a friend of Klinsman’s—pretended to be her boyfriend.
Klinsman alleges that the man bought her a shot. After consuming the shot, Klinsman says she began to feel dizzy and vaguely recalls riding in a taxi to an apartment. When she awoke again, she claims, a man was raping her. She asked the man to stop, but he ignored her. She claims that the man’s roommate also implored him to stop, but the man ignored him and instead moved Klinsman to a bathroom, where he raped her again. Afterwards, Klinsman says, the man drove her on his scooter to a location she recognized and let her go.
Klinsman reported the incident to police the following day, according to the New York Times, but could not identify her attacker nor identify where he lived. A month later, however, Klinsman recognized the man in a class and heard a professor call his name.
The man, she said, was Jameis Winston—Florida State’s all-star quarterback who led the Seminoles to a National Championship in 2014 and who is expected to be the first pick in this year’s National Football League draft.
After Winston was identified, police investigated the incident further. Prosecutors interviewed Klinsman, and ESPN reported that DNA in her underwear matched Winston’s. Winston’s attorney said that the two had consensual sex. Ultimately the State of Florida declined to charge Winston with a crime, and Klinsman withdrew from the university. Winston was cleared of violating any university policies after a two-day student-conduct hearing in 2014.
Now Klinsman has brought a civil lawsuit against Winston, alleging that he raped, assaulted and falsely imprisoned her and inflicted emotional distress upon her.
Legal experts told the Daily Mail that Klinsman’s civil action against Winston was subject to a lower burden of proof than the State of Florida’s countenanced criminal action. Former federal prosecutor David S. Weinstein said Klinsman merely has to tip the scales in her favor on her claims, instead of proving Winston’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt—the standard in criminal cases.
Klinsman has said she hopes the lawsuit will encourage other victims of rape and sexual assault to come forward.
Winston has denied any wrongdoing.
If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
About the Author
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
“FSU offense 2014 ACC Championship Game” by Thomson200 – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FSU_offense_2014_ACC_Championship_Game.jpg#/media/File:FSU_offense_2014_ACC_Championship_Game.jpg
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