COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - A former Beng-Gal and Dixie Heights High School teacher will avoid jail time after pleading guilty to charges in the student-sex case against her.
Sarah Jones, 26, admitted in court Monday to having sex with a 17-year-old student. She pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct, a misdemeanor, and custodial interference, a Class D felony. However, she received felony diversion, meaning that in five years, it will not be on her record.
As part of the deal, she will not serve any jail time, she will not have to register as a sex offender, she is never allowed to teach again and the text messages between Jones and the teen will be sealed by the court.
"Steamy? They were steamy. They were steamy. I've teased Sarah about them because I had to read them," Jones' Attorney Eric Deters said of the text messages.
Jones was indicted on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor in sexual or other prohibited acts in March. The charges stem from an investigation at Dixie Heights High School in November.
"Sarah Jones has pled guilty to a felony offense. Number two, Sarah Jones has agreed to never even apply or accept any teaching or coaching job in her lifetime," said Special Prosecutor Harry Rothgerber.
Jones stepped down from her position teaching English to Dixie Heights High School freshman when the investigation began in November citing "personal reasons." The case was scheduled to go to trial on Wednesday.
FOX19 legal analyst Mike Allen says the outcome would have been very different if the roles were reversed with a male teacher and female student.
"Big time prison. In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, it would've been five years on each charge and I think the person would've gotten every day of five years. Not to excuse it, but it's just the way it is and it's not going to change anytime soon. But it is somewhat of a double standard," said Allen.
Sarah's mother, former Twenhofel Middle School principal Cheryl Armstrong Jones, also pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor charge of tampering with evidence. She admitted to the judge that she sent the teen a text message telling him to get rid of his phone.
FOX19's Tricia Macke will sit down with Sarah Jones and her boyfriend, Cody York, for an exclusive interview that will air this weekend.