Sarah Jones, former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader, pleads guilty in teen sex scandal
Former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader-turned-teacher Sarah Jones -- not to be confused with the "Vegas" star of the same name -- pleaded guilty Monday to having sex with a former student when he was only 17. The 27-year-old will be charged with sexual misconduct and custodial interference, which will allow her to avoid jail time.
"I began a romantic relationship while he was a student and I was in a position of authority," admits Jones in the court hearing in Kenton County Circuit Court in Covington, Ky., the Associated Press reports.
The former cheerleader accepted a plea agreement Monday that sentences her to five years of diversion, which will require her to report to a probation officer and be subject to drug tests. In exchange, she won't go to jail and won't be registered as a sex offender.
Jones, who taught at a northern Kentucky high school, admits that she and the teen entered into a relationship in February 2011 when he was still underage. The two had sex and exchanged "sexually explicit" text messages which defense attorney Eric Deters calls "embarrassing" and "steamy."
The two first met when the student was in Jones' freshman English class in 2008. She was then his peer tutor in 2010 and 2011. He graduated this year
In an interesting turn, the teen -- now 18 -- and his family are not being cooperative with the prosecutors on the case and that's part of the reason that Jones is getting off light.
"We feel that it is a just and it is a fair result," prosecutor Sara Farmer says. "It's certainly difficult when a victim and his family don't cooperate by not providing information, but it makes our case a lot harder when they're actually proactive for a defendant, and in this case, the family was more than supportive of the Jones (family). They were proactive for them."
As the teen is now of age, he and Jones are "free to be together," and it was reported that they left the courtroom together.
Jones has since quit her job both as a Bengals cheerleader and a teacher, and is studying to take the Law School Admission Test. She was indicted for the sex scandal in March, and her trial is set to start Wednesday (Oct. 10).
Both Jones and her younger lover are set to appear on "Today" and "Dateline" Friday. Deters is asking for a January trial date for his client. Jones' mother is also facing a misdemeanor charge for tampering with evidence after she texted the teen and told him to get rid of his phone.