COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - A federal jury has found that the operator of a gossip website was reckless in posts made about former Ben-Gal cheerleader Sarah Jones.
Jones sued the Arizona-based web site thedirty.com and its operator, Nik Richie, over lewd comments posted about her in 2009, claiming that the comments were false and harmful to her reputation.
The jury agreed, saying the comments against her were false and that the defendant was reckless. The jury found that Jones should be awarded $38,000 in damages and $300,000 in punitive damages.
Richie's attorney had argued that his client was protected under the Communications Decency Act and should not be responsible for a post made by someone else onto his website, but Jones' attorney, Eric Deters, argued that Richie should have verified the posts.
A first trial in January ended in a mistrial after the jury was at an impasse and could not reach a verdict.
The posts came almost three years before Jones pled guilty to having sex with a teenage student while she was a teacher at Dixie Heights High School. She is now engaged to be married to the student.