Rape victim settles lawsuit against Los Vaqueros Trail Riders for $575K
HOUSTON – The Los Vaqueros Trail Ride will pay a woman a settlement of $575,000 after she was raped at its event.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which was also included in the lawsuit, was dismissed.
Brie Ana Williams sued the rodeo after she said someone raped her during an event associated with the trail riders in Dayton in 2012.
The rodeo had said it was not involved in the event when it took place.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo released a statement Friday:
"The Los Vaqueros Rio Grande Trail Ride Association and Pinkerton Law Firm, the lawyers for Ms. Williams, settled a lawsuit that involved a sexual assault that occurred in Liberty County at a Los Vaqueros Rio Grande Trail Ride Association social function in December 2012, completely unrelated to any Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo event. The judge officially dismissed the Rodeo from the lawsuit and there was no money paid by or on behalf of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo."
Investigating Consultant Wayne Dolcefino was working on behalf of the victim and asked the rodeo to provide records about its finances, sexual harassment allegations and details of its security payments. Dolcefino said the rodeo refused and he filed a criminal complainant.
The rodeo's attorney said they did provide 60,000 pages of financial records.
“The fight between the rodeo and Mr. Dolcefino goes on. We’ve produced the general ledger of the rodeo which we think the Texas Non-Profit Act requires and we’re gonna ask a court to make a decision about whether what the rodeo has provided complies with the law,” said Patrick Mizell, representing the Houston Rodeo.
The rodeo and Dolcefino were suing each other and the same judge from the initial rape case will hear the new cases.
“We feel great. I think this is a good decision and to me, in my opinion, it means the judge is seeing through what the rodeo is trying to do, to avoid determinations. Certainly, avoid determinations by this court,” said Jeff Diamant, Dolcefino’s attorney.
The next hearing is set for Sept. 14.
Dolcefino has also asked for criminal charges to be filed against the rodeo. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office was investigating.
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