Sarah Jones, a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and high school English teacher in Covington, Ky., appeared in court in September on charges of having a sexual relationship with a teenage student. / Patrick Reddy, Gannett
A former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader has avoided prison time by acknowledging in a plea deal that she had sexual relations with a 17-year-old student while she was teaching English at a Kentucky high school.
"I began a romantic relationship while he was a student and I was in a position of authority," Sarah Jones, 27, told the court in Covington, Ky., the Associated Press reports.
During the hearing, the former English teacher at Dixie Heights High School admitted to engaging in a "sexual relationship and sexual intercourse," WCPO reports.
Under the terms of the deal, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of first-degree sexual misconduct that could have brought Jones five years in prison.
Instead, Judge Patricia Summe granted prosecutors' recommendation to sentence her to five years of diversion but no prison time, the AP reports. The diversion requires Jones to report to a probation officer, undergo drug tests and never apply for a teaching job again.
WCPO-TV reports that Jones will not have to register as a sex offender.
Prosecutors said they were willing to make the deal because the teen, now 18, and his family were uncooperative with them and took Jones' side, the AP says.
A second felony charge of unlawful use of electronic means -- texting -- to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities, was dropped in favor of a misdemeanor charge of custodial interference.
Jones' mother, Cheryl Jones, also accepted a deal in which she pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence, her attorney Eric Deters tells 9 News.
Cheryl Jones acknowledged in court that she advised the teen victim to "get rid of the phone" on which incriminating texts had allegedly been sent.
Sarah Jones still has a pending civil lawsuit against the gossip website TheDirty.com after it posted comments about her sexual behavior in 2009, The Enquirer reports.
In a 2010 interview with The Enquirer, Jones, who had defended herself against allegations in the website, said she used the post as a "teachable moment" after her students started looking it up on the Internet and asking questions.
"It was then I decided I had nothing to hide," she told The Enquirer. "There is nothing I need to back down from."
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Read the original story: Ex-Bengal cheerleader pleads guilty in student sex case