Sarah Jones, a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader, admitted to a judge Monday that she had sex with a 17-year-old student while teaching at a Kentucky high school. Jones, 27, pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct and custodial interference, while avoiding more serious charges as part of the plea agreement.
Jones will not have to serve jail time as part of the plea agreement, as she's instead been sentenced to five years of diversion, which will require her to report to a probation officer and undergo drug tests. The former teacher, who resigned from her previous teaching job in November, agreed to never teach or coach children again, but will not have to register as a sex offender.
One of Monday's more interesting tidbits is that Jones and the student, who is now 18 years old and thus free to have a relationship with his former teacher, left the courtroom together, apparently carrying on a — now legal — relationship. Jones said the relationship began back in February 2011, when the boy was still 17.
"Our romantic relationship included voluminous phone calls and text messages," Jones said during the hearing. "I sent sexually explicit text messages to [the victim] when he was a student.
"I had sexual contact including sexual intercourse with [the student] in Kenton County, Kent., while he was a student and I was a teacher."
The admission comes in the wake of Jones' relationship with the student being very much publicized on the Internet.
"I read on a blog that I was the female [Jerry] Sandusky," Jones said in an interview with ABC News earlier this year. "To read those things and not be able to comment, not be able to stick up for myself is not fair."
Jones, who faced up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of the original charges of sexual abuse and using electronic means to entice a minor, is not expected to try to become a Bengals cheerleader again in the future.