Former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and Kentucky high school teacher Sarah Jones pleaded guilty Monday morning to reduced sexual misconduct charges related to the 27-year-old’s sexual relationship with a former student.
The misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to 12 months. Jones also pleaded guilty to custodial interference, a felony that could bring a one to five-year prison sentence. Jones’ plea will enable her to avoid standing trial this week on charges stemming from the relationship.
Jones, the former captain of the Ben-Gals cheerleading squad, was indicted in April on charges that she had sex with a 16-year-old student at Dixie Heights High, where she worked as an English teacher. Jones resigned from the teaching job citing “personal reasons” but denied the allegations.
Today, Jones finally fessed up to the relationship.
“I began a romantic relationship while he was a student and I was in a position of authority,” Jones said in court (via the Associated Press).
She said the relationship began in February 2011 and that she lied about their relationship, including the fact that they had sex when the boy was 17 and sent him sexually explicit text messages.
Jones’ mother pleaded guilty Monday to tampering with evidence for sending a text message to the boy telling him to get rid of his phone, which contained the explicit messages.
In 2009, Jones made national news when she sued TheDirty.com founder Nik Richie for posting a picture of Jones that claimed she had contracted a sexually transmitted disease and was having sex with Bengals players. She was rewarded an $11 million default judgment for defamation.
Last June, Jones said the allegations — which she claimed were completely unfounded — had ruined life in an interview on ABC’s 20/20.
“I literally broke down,” she said. “I worked my butt off to make sure I had a clean, great reputation and then it was ruined by one post.”