Jameis Winston sued by Uber driver in alleged groping

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The female Uber driver Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston allegedly groped in March 2016 filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday, detailing the incident that led the NFL to suspend Winston for the first three games of this season.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona, lawyers for the driver said that Winston – who sat in the passenger seat – “placed his fingers between her legs and pressed them firmly against her vagina over her yoga pants” as the two sat in the drive-through of a fast food restaurant in the early morning hours of March 13, 2016. 

“What’s up with that?” the driver asked that led Winston to withdraw his hand, according to the complaint. 

The driver, identified as Kate P. in the lawsuit, seeks punitive damages for the alleged sexual assault and a trial to determine “past, present and future emotional pain and suffering, and past and future economic losses in amounts to be determined by the jury.” Winston is the only listed defendant in the eight-page lawsuit obtained by USA TODAY Sports. 

Winston at first denied the allegation when it came to light last year, but when the NFL announced the ban in June he apologized to the driver for “the position I put you in.” The NFL’s investigation found that Winston violated the league’s personal conduct policy for “touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent.”

The league also said after the investigation that it found the driver’s account of the incident “consistent and credible.”

The driver picked up Winston at a club in Scottsdale, Ariz., and, according to the lawsuit, one of Winston’s friends commented, “She is hot. You should sit in the front seat, Jameis.” While Winston initially said that others were in the car with him, the driver alleges in the lawsuit Winston was the sole passenger.  

Not long after Winston entered the car for the ride to his hotel, the lawsuit alleged he “became belligerent with some male pedestrians that were near the same club –screaming and swearing obscenities and racial epithets out the window.”

Winston then declared:  “I want a burrito.” The lawsuit alleges the assault occurred as they waited for the food. 

The driver texted her boyfriend, “I just got semi molested by the Tampa Bay Buc QB” and added she was was “pretty shaken up” by the incident, according to the lawsuit.

“They discussed via text what to do and whether going to the police would lead to anything given his prior rape investigation in Florida that did not result in charges,” the lawsuit claims.

While a student at Florida State, Winston was accused of sexual assault, but prosecutors declined to filed charges. Winston settled a federal lawsuit with his accuser in 2016. 

The driver contacted Uber the next day to report the incident. Uber conducted its own investigation, which led it to ban Winston from the service for life. 

Follow A.J. Perez on Twitter @byajperez.

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