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Judge dismisses lawsuit against Dallas Cowboys owner

NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — A judge threw out a sexual assault lawsuit filed against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Thursday, saying the claims were barred by Texas law limiting the time in which a case can be filed.

Jana Weckerly had accused Jones of grabbing her genitals and forcibly kissing her in 2009. Weckerly also alleged an attorney for Jones took a memory card with photos and destroyed it, and that she was paid hush money for several years after the incident. Jones denied the allegations.

State District Judge Dale Tillery ruled that the allegations, even if true, fell outside the five-year statute of limitations for civil sexual assault cases.

Tillery’s order also redacted certain allegations made by Weckerly in court filings, and it banned attorneys on both sides from discussing the case with the media even after its dismissal.

Weckerly’s attorney, Thomas Bowers, said his client did not receive any money from Jones or the Cowboys as part of the case ending. He declined to comment further.

An attorney for Jones, Levi McCathern, said in an email that Weckerly’s allegations were false and that he was pleased with Tillery’s order. McCathern was also sued by Weckerly.

Bowers argued in court last month that Weckerly’s case wasn’t past the deadline because she was receiving payments and feeling pressured not to report the alleged incident. But McCathern denied that any payments were made to Weckerly and said that even if they were at first, Weckerly could not have felt pressure for several years afterward not to go to authorities or file a lawsuit.

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AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon contributed to this report.

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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