Ex-dancer accuses Cowboys owner Jerry Jones of sex assault

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DALLAS -- A former exotic dancer has filed a lawsuit against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, accusing him of sexual assault.

In the suit filed Monday in Dallas County, Jana Weckerly claims that Jones assaulted her in 2009 and that the Dallas Cowboys knew about and covered up the incident.

Weckerly is seeking "monetary relief of over $1,000,000," according to the suit.

Reaction from the Cowboys was swift.

Levi McCathern, an attorney representing the team, called the allegations "completely false" and "a shakedown."

"The legal complaint is unsupported by facts or evidence of any kind," McCathern said in a written statement. "This is nothing more than an attempt to embarrass and extort Jerry Jones."

Weckerly's attorney says his client is in hiding. The suit claims that the 2009 incident caused the 27-year-old to fear for her life.

In the aftermath, the suit says, Weckerly has suffered depression, dealt with substance abuse and has attempted suicide.

The suit is not clear on exactly when the alleged assault occurred, saying it happened "sometime in May or June." But the suit alleges that the owner penetrated Weckerly with his fingers and forced her to touch his genitals without her consent.

McCathern pledged to fight the complaint. He added that law enforcement is now involved "due to the seriousness of these baseless allegations."

The allegations against the Cowboys owner is the latest distraction for the NFL, pulling the spotlight from its early season games.

Ravens running back Ray Rice was cut from the team and indefinitely suspended from the league this week after video surfaced showing the moment he delivered a punch to his then-fiancée that knocked her out.

The league was ridiculed by some for initially suspending Rice for only two games, a position it did not change until after the video was made public.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he does not rule out the possibility of Rice returning to the league someday.

Another team owner, Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts, is currently serving a six-game suspension and had to pay a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The $500,000 fine is the maximum allowed under league rules.

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