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Jameis Winston files counterclaim against rape accuser

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Jameis Winston is counter-suing Erica Kinsman, who has accused the quarterback of rape and filed a civil suit against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback earlier this monthMatt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

The No. 1 overall NFL draft pick and former Florida State star filed a counterclaim Friday against Zephyrhills' Erica Kinsman, alleging her rape accusations are "false, defamatory ... and have maliciously and impermissibly interfered with Mr. Winston's business and personal relationships."

"Mr. Winston brings this action against Ms. Kinsman out of necessity, not malice or ill will," the court filing said. "Nonetheless, Ms. Kinsman's false statements have irreparably harmed in his professional and personal life."

The counterclaim seeks damages in excess of $75,000. Kinsman's attorneys did not immediately return a request for comment late Friday night.

Winston was never criminally charged as a result of the accusations. The preponderance of the evidence did not point to his guilt in a Code of Conduct hearing at Florida State University, a former Florida State Supreme Court judge found, as he claimed that the credibility of neither story was "substantially stronger" than the other.

Counterclaims are common in civil actions, and Cornwell had earlier said that they would file a counter-suit if the accuser would proceed with a civil suit, so this is not surprising. While this may seem like a move toward a prolonged legal battle, it may also be the first step in a move toward a settlement. Ironically, both Winston's and Kinsman's attorneys claim that the other party initiated settlement talks in 2013.

Winston was selected with the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and is currently participating in his first practices as a Buc at their rookie mini-camp.

You can read the full counterclaim here, courtesy of Tomahawk Nation's Partik Nohe.