Jerry Jones: Sexual Assault or Sextortion?


Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is in hot water after someone leaked racy photos of him posing with young women in a restroom. Of course, he's likely in serious trouble with his wife, who cannot appreciate seeing pictures of her husband groping and being groped by other women, but he's also in legal trouble.

As a result of the 2009 incident, Jones has been named in a lawsuit by the woman who claimed to have taken the pictures of his debauchery. Jana Weckerly, of Oklahoma, says that she snapped the images of Jones and two women, but that she rejected his advances during the incident. However, she accuses him of sexually assaulting her when she refused to participate, and is suing him for damages in excess of $1 million.

If Jerry Jones did indeed force himself upon Weckerly five years ago, then he should be criminally prosecuted and held liable for his actions. However, there is a lot to indicate that Jones himself may be the victim here--not of sexual assault, but of extortion.

Obviously, we do not have all of the information in this case, and therefore we cannot say whether or not Jones is guilty of sexual assault or if he is guilty of being a cad who is now being extorted for his indiscretion. We don't attempt to assert which position we believe to be true. However, let's look at some of the factors involved which may make it difficult for the plaintiff to prove her lawsuit.

First, the incident occurred five years ago. Weckerly did not report to police that she had been sexually assaulted, nor did she file a lawsuit until after the photos, which she allegedly took, were leaked half a decade later. It is true that fear, threats, and intimidation could make it difficult for a person to notify police about being the victim of an assault, and it is this fear that Weckerly cites as reason for her delay in coming forward. Her attorney says his client "cried and wondered how she could fight and win against a billionaire." Interesting that in her "fear," she wondered how she could "win against a billionaire," instead of wondering whether she could press charges against a powerful man. This statement doesn't seem to be out of concern for justice as a victim of crime, but out of concern for financial gain.

Another problem is the stories of the women involved. All three, including Weckerly, were exotic dancers. Clearly, the women pictured in the photographs seem to be laughing and having fun. However, after the release of the photos, the two pictured women said they did not know someone was taking pictures of the incident, even though they are posing and looking at the camera. They later said they were intoxicated and didn't remember much about the evening. It seems as if the evening ended with the sexual assault of their friend, who was crying and forcibly removed from the club, they might remember something about that.

That forcible removal might be another issue. Weckerly's attorney mentions that the woman tried several times to leave, yet was pressured into staying in a situation she didn't want to be in--even though she seemed to have no problem taking pictures of her friends while she was under duress. Yet she says after she was assaulted, Jones's bodyguards picked her up and removed her from the club. It seems odd that, although she wanted to leave, she had to be removed by force.

Again, we are not privy to the details of the case, but from the details that have been made available, it seems that Weckerly may have a difficult time painting herself as a victim of sexual assault rather than a perpetrator of "sextortion."

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