Judge denies HIGHER bond request for Ben-Gal

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - Kenton Circuit Court Judge Patricia Summe denied a request by Ben-Gal Sarah Jones for a higher bond on Monday. Summe refused to reinstate her original $80,000 combined bond for she set for Sarah Jones and her mother, Cheryl. The judge opted instead to keep the new bond at $30,000 with certain conditions.

"Its a little bizarre and it seems to be getting more bizarre as it goes on," said FOX19 legal analyst, Mike Allen. "No one in normal circumstances goes before a judge and says, 'Hey you honor, will you please raise my bond?"

Jones, a former Dixie Heights High School English teacher is charged with sexually abusing a student and using an electronic device to solicit illegal activity. Her mother, Cheryl, is charged with tampering with evidence in the case. She is on administrative leave from her duties as principal of Twenhofel Middle School in Independence.

According to their attorney, the Joneses are close friends with the alleged victim's parents and want to maintain that relationship. So close in fact, the victim's parents were in court as a show of support for the Joneses. "It could very well be a strategic move by her attorneys to let a jury pool know that, hey wait a minute, these people want contact. They don't want to stay apart from each other," said Allen.

Under the new lower bond of $15,000 each, Sarah and Cheryl Jones must also disable text messaging capability on their phones and both are required to wear electronic monitoring devices on their ankle.

Both have a pre-trial hearing scheduled for May.

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