The accuser in the Jameis Winston rape case had NO relationship with the FSU football star before the night of the incident ... she didn't even know him .... sources connected to the alleged victim tell TMZ Sports.
Furthermore ... this photo (above) which is circulating -- showing Winston in an embrace with a blonde woman at a Tallahassee nightclub -- is NOT the accuser.
The lawyer for the alleged victim tells TMZ Sports ... both she and her client have viewed the pic and the woman "is definitely not her."
Winston is now contending that he did have sex with the accuser but it was consensual. The revelation came after DNA testing linked Winston with the woman.
We reached out to Jameis' lawyer for comment -- but he wouldn't return our calls.