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Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Byears, who sued Sparks after being cut, joins Mystics

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Latasha Byears signed with the Washington Mystics on Tuesday, less than two weeks after settling a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Sparks that claimed she was unfairly cut.

Byears played with the Sparks from 2001-03, helping them win WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002. In 2004, she sued the Sparks for wrongful termination, claiming she was dismissed because of sexual orientation and gender discrimination.

Byears was cut from the team five days after a June 2003 party at which she and three men were said to have assaulted a woman, a former teammate. At the time, prosecutors said there was an investigation, but no one was arrested and no charges were filed.

A settlement was announced Feb. 10, although details were not released. Sparks attorney Jeffrey Lenkov cited a confidentiality agreement.

Byears spent the first four years of her career with the Sacramento Monarchs.

The Mystics also signed Shaquala Williams, a three-year veteran who has played for Cleveland, Los Angeles and Seattle.