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Cowboys’ Owner Jerry Jones Settles Sex Suit

DALLAS (CN) - Hours before a Thursday hearing on sexual assault allegations against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a woman settled her lawsuit against Jones, his attorney and the football team.

Jana Weckerly, of Ardmore, Okla., sued on Sept. 8. She claims to have taken racy photos of Jones on June 30, 2009, with two other women at a Dallas hotel that made headlines when they were leaked on the Internet in August this year.

Weckerly accused Jones of touching her butt and breasts several times, "forcibly" kissing her without consent and forcing her to watch him receive oral sex, among other things.

She claimed Jones and the team threatened, bullied and intimidated her into keeping quiet, "or else," and paid her hush money from 2009 through July 2013 to stop her from going to police or suing.

A mediated settlement was entered Thursday morning, according to court records. The agreed judgment was signed hours later by Dallas County District Judge Dale B. Tillery, ending the lawsuit .

Under the settlement, Weckerly will be paid nothing by Jones, the Cowboys and attorney Levi McCathern in Dallas. The parties also agree to not discuss the case with the media.

Just before the settlement was filed, Jones' attorneys filed a motion for sanctions against Weckerly's attorney, Thomas Bowers in Dallas. They accused Bowers of "signing a frivolous pleading for the purposes of harassment and in an effort to extort a settlement

"The allegations contained in plaintiff's pleadings have no basis in law, and any reasonable investigation into this matter would have revealed same to plaintiff before filing suit," the motion stated.

Jones' attorneys reiterated their argument that Weckerly's claims fall outside of the statute of limitations.

"On the face of plaintiff's pleadings, the actions alleged by plaintiff took place no later than June 2009," the motion states. "The applicable statutes of limitation run no longer than five years, placing the filing of this action on September 9, 2014, outside the statutory period."

The statute of limitations in Texas on Weckerly's sexual assault claim is five years, and just two years for her intentional infliction of emotion distress and negligence.

At a Sept. 26 hearing, Bowers claimed that a conspiracy to quiet Weckerly "continued the tort" and tolled the statute of limitations.

"My client was intimidated into keeping quiet or else, bullied into believing she would be in trouble," Bowers told Tillery. "She was also paid money, your honor, that she did not ask for. She was also paid money to keep from going to police and not to file her lawsuit. She did what she was told."

Gregory Shamoun, representing Jones and the Cowboys, retorted that "on its face, there are no facts in the lawsuit" that toll the statute of limitations for Weckerly's three claims.

"Receiving [the hush money], which we vehemently deny, is not a tort," Shamoun said at the time. "What is the cause of action here? There is no cause of action in tort for a cover-up or for paying her."

McCathern has denounced the allegations as "completely false" and a "money grab." He said on Sept. 9 that Jones would "vigorously contest" the lawsuit.

"The legal complaint is unsupported by facts or evidence of any kind," McCathern said at the time. "This is nothing more than an attempt to embarrass and extort Jerry Jones. This is a shakedown by a lawyer who is a solo practitioner just trying to make a name for himself. The alleged incidents would have been more than five years old."

The serious nature of the "baseless" allegations also prompted Jones to contact law enforcement, McCathern said.

McCathern said the defendants "are pleased" with Tillery's judgment.

"Ms. Weckerly's allegations were false," he said in a statement Thursday. "This case is over."

Bowers said he and his client will not contest the judgment.

"And neither Jerry Jones or the Cowboys organization has paid us any money," he said.

Follow @davejourno
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