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Ben-Gals cheerleader accepts plea deal, avoids jail

Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:43 PM ET

TODAY /
Sarah Jones allegedly had a sexual relationship with one of her students while moonlighting as a Cincinatti Bengals cheerleader.

The former Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleader charged with having sex with an underage student will accept a plea deal with prosecutors in Kentucky to avoid jail time.

Sarah Jones, 26, allegedly began a sexual relationship with a student while she was working as a freshman English teacher at Dixie Heights High School in Crestview Hills, Ky., and also moonlighting as a cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals. She was facing charges of sex abuse of the first degree and sexual misconduct and custodial interference for alleged sexual contact she had with a student.

Jones, who stepped down from her job at the high school in November citing “personal reasons,’’ pled guilty to the sexual misconduct and custodial interference charge.

Prosecutors agreed to the plea deal because the boy’s family did not cooperate, according to a report by NBC affiliate WLWT. The Jones family and the victim’s family had previously stated that they had been friends for a while. The trial was set to begin this week, and after the plea deal, Jones left the courtroom hand-in-hand with the 18-year-old with whom she was alleged to have had a sexual relationship.

Jones will not have to register as a sex offender and received a two-year suspended jail sentence in which she can avoid any jail time if she stays out of trouble for the next five years.

Jones’ mother, Cheryl, also pled guilty to a charge of attempted tampering with physical evidence and received a one-year suspended sentence if she avoids trouble for two years.

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