Uber driver suing Bucs' QB Winston over groping incident

FILE - This Aug. 30, 2018 file photo, shows Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston before an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Tampa, Fla. A female Uber driver in Arizona is suing Winston, accusing him of sexual assault. Court documents say the woman filed the suit in Arizona on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, and is seeking more than $75,000 in damage. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio, File)

PHOENIX — A female Uber driver in Arizona is suing Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, accusing him of sexual assault.

Court documents say the woman filed the suit in Arizona on Tuesday and is seeking more than $75,000 in damages. She said Winston grabbed her crotch in the drive-thru of a Mexican restaurant in the Phoenix area in March 2016.

After an investigation into the incident, the NFL in June suspended Winston for three games for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

The suit comes as Winston approaches the final game of the suspension, and with the Buccaneers off to a 2-0 start.

He missed the opener at New Orleans and last week's home victory over defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia. He is eligible to return on Tuesday, the day after Tampa Bay plays the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A call to the Buccaneers offices after business hours Tuesday was not immediately returned.

The Associated Press does not generally name people who allege they are victims of sexual assault.

The NFL announced the suspension after an eight-month investigation concluded the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, who was in Arizona for a charity event, violated the league's personal conduct policy by "touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent."

The driver did not file a criminal or civil complaint, however she reported the incident to Uber. The NFL learned of the allegation when it was reported publicly last November.

"The league promptly initiated a comprehensive investigation that included interviews with several persons, including the driver, Winston and others with relevant information," the NFL said in a statement announcing the suspension. "The league also examined an extensive amount of other evidence, including telephone records, business records, data from electronic devices and other communications."

Winston was allowed to practice during training camp and play in preseason games, but he is forbidden to have contact with team during the suspension.

The NFL also said at the time that the fourth-year pro is required to have a clinical evaluation and cooperate in any recommended program of therapeutic intervention.

In his only public comments on the accusation and suspension, Winston apologized on the first day of training camp this year. But he would not discuss specifics of the Uber ride he took during the winter after his rookie season.

"I should never have put myself in that situation," he said. "All I can do is grow and learn from that. ... I've made a lot of positive changes since then."

The Bucs drafted Winston No. 1 overall in 2015, despite questions about his behavior during his college career at Florida State.

Winston was accused of raping a fellow student at FSU, but never charged. The university settled a Title IX lawsuit over its handling of the allegations with Winston's accuser, Erica Kinsman, in January 2016 for $1.7 million.

The suspension is costing Winston $124,411 of his base salary of $705,000 for this season. He is set to earn $20.9 million in 2019.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

People also read these

6-time champs Djokovic, Williams post Australian...

Jan 17, 2017

The record will show that six-time Australian Open champions Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic...

Comeback kid? Tommy Haas, 38, returns for proper...

Jan 18, 2017

Tommy Haas isn't worrying too much about his post-retirement plans when he finally hangs up his...

Kyrgios withdraws from doubles at Australian Open

Jan 19, 2017

Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the doubles at the Australian Open with an abdominal injury, a day...

Clijsters, Roddick joining International Tennis...

Jan 24, 2017

Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick have been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Williams, Lucic-Baroni win in throwback...

Jan 25, 2017

When Mirjana Lucic-Baroni served out her victory at the Australian Open on Wednesday, making the...

Get your 24-hour live updates here in Ultimate Sports Daily. We deliver content from all regions so that you won’t miss out on any single event.

Contact us: sales[at]ultimatesportsdaily.com