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Texas Appeals Court reverses dismissal of sexual assault civil suit against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

A jury trial is scheduled to take place April 10.

DALLAS — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will now face a court date in April as a Court of Appeals has stricken down a dismissal against a claim from a woman that Jones sexually assaulted her in 2018.

The original petition was filed on Sept. 14, 2020, against Jones and the Cowboys by an anonymous woman using the pseudonym Jane Doe.

In the suit, Doe alleges that Jones kissed her on the mouth and forcibly grabbed her without consent on Sept. 16, 2018, and that the Cowboys organization knew -- or should have known -- of his misconduct. She initially did not include where the incident took place, but in a refiled allegation said it occurred in the Tom Landry Room at AT&T Stadium. 

A motion to dismiss was originally held on Feb. 1, 2022, where Doe's claims were dismissed with prejudice by a judge.

The woman later moved for reconsideration and supplemented her motion, and her counsel said at a hearing that she would be willing to provide her full name and the required portions of her driver's license and Social Security numbers, which she had not provided in previous filings. The trial court denied that motion.

The current, granted appeal then followed.

In this most recent appeal, attorneys argued that earlier rulings was incorrect because the courts dismissed her case after she had made good faith attempts to amend her suit, and because Jones' attorneys had never filed special exceptions to her live pleadings. 

In the reversal, it was written that the only real pleading deficiency raised by Jones' attorneys in their motion to dismiss was Doe's failure to identify herself in her pleadings. 

"We recognize that a trial court has broad discretion in ruling on special exceptions and in dismissing a case when a plaintiff fails to cure pleading defects," the ruling states. "But because appellant made a good faith attempt to amend her pleadings in response to the court's special exceptions order and no further special exceptions were made, the trial court abused its discretion in dismissing appellant's claims."

A juried civil trial has been scheduled to take place April 10.

WFAA reached out to attorneys for Jones and the Cowboys on Tuesday, but did not immediately receive any response to our requests for comment.

Jones has previously denied the accusations, and in court-filed responses called called them both “malicious and hurtful.”

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