Attorney apologizes after Ben-Gals cheerleader and her mother do not appear in court
Shannon Kettler, Shannon.Kettler@wcpo.com
1:32 PM, May 14, 2012
6:57 PM, May 14, 2012
COVINGTON, Ky. - A Kenton County judge on Monday refused to hear bond motions for a Ben-Gals cheerleader and her mother charged in a sex abuse scandal because they were not present for the hearing.
Sarah Jones, Captain of the Ben-Gals cheerleading squad and a former Dixie Heights High School teacher in Edgewood, is accused of sexually abusing a student and unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities. She resigned from her teaching position Nov. 30 for personal reasons.
Cheryl Jones is accused of tampering with evidence in the case. She was put on administrative leave in March from her job as Principal of Twenhofel Middle School in Taylor Mill. The two are both out on bond after pleading not guilty at a previous hearing last month.
Defense attorney Charles Lester told Kenton County Judge Patricia Summe they would not be present for Monday's hearing. "They were informed of the hearing and I requested them not to attend," said Lester.
Judge Summe responded, "Who did you request that to because it would not have been me?"
"I apologize your honor I didn't ask your permission for that," said Lester.
"Right, they need to be here," said Summe. "I don't look at bond without people here."
Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Sara Farmer is prosecuting the case because of potential conflicts if the Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney's Office handled the matter. Farmer drove 90 minutes to attend Monday's hearing. Judge Summe told Lester to apologize to Farmer as well.
"I apologize," said Lester looking at Farmer.
After the hearing Farmer told 9 News, "It's unheard of in Jefferson County" for defendants not to be present for this kind of hearing.
Judge Summe did approve a request by the defense to push back the June 27 trial date due to the large amount of evidence in the case.
"We have filed over 9,000 pages of discovery in addition to forensic evidence that has been tendered to defense counsel," said Farmer. "At this point I don't want to comment on evidence further. We will present it all at trial."