October 9, 2012 By Stephen Klarich

NFL cheerleader enters plea in case involving sex with a minor.

According to msn.com, a former Cincinnati Bengal cheerleader charged with having sex with an underage student accepted 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.

In California, the Penal Code section 261.5 defines statutory rape as the unlawful sexual intercourse as an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person who is not the spouse of the perpetrator, if the person-victim is a minor. For the purposes of this section, a “minor” is a person under the age of 18 years and an “adult” is a person who is at least 18 years of age.

Also known as Statutory Rape laws, it takes place when a person engages in sexual intercourse with a person under 18 also known as unlawful sex with a minor and that they were not married at the time. A statutory rape conviction does not require a person to register as a sex offender as required under California Penal Code Section 290. Some other related sex offenses, however, do require mandatory sex offender registration under California Penal Code Section 290.

It is very important such as in the case above whether or not the victim will cooperate with authorities and the district attorney’s office as the crux of the prosecution’s case will be the victim’s testimonial evidence. If there is lack of cooperation by the victim, the prosecution would more likely be inclined to offer a plea bargained agreement.

If you or a loved one has recently been charged with a unlawful sex with a minor or statutory rape, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you against these charges.  At Wallin and Klarich, criminal defense attorneys have successfully represented many clients in this situation successfully.  Call us at 1-888-749-0034. We will be there when you call.

AUTHOR: Stephen Klarich

Stephen Klarich is a partner at Wallin & Klarich and expert in the field of sex crimes. For over thirty years, Stephen Klarich has been handling criminal cases and matters involving sex offenses. With an unparalleled knowledge of sex crimes defense, Stephen Klarich protects his clients’ rights. Stephen Klarich has experienced significant success in obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Governor’s Pardon for his clients. Thousands of clients have put their trust in Stephen Klarich and the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich in their time of legal need.

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