Sarah Jones' attorney fights to suppress text messages
3:24 PM, Jul 27, 2012
11:43 PM, Jul 27, 2012
CINCINNATI - Prosecutors on Friday released a text message that ex-Ben-Gal cheerleader and former teacher Sarah Jones allegedly sent to a former student she's accused of having sex with.
Special prosecutor Sara Farmer filed a motion in response to Jones' attorney Eric Deters who claimed police "acted with reckless disregard for the truth" and that the case is based on false statements.
Farmer is trying the case after Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders recused himself from the case due to a conflict of interest.
In their motion, prosecutors claim "The things Sarah Jones classifies as 'false statements' are really issues of opinion or nothing more than her denial (such as whether or not Sarah Jones conducts herself in a professional manner, or whether or not a witness actually saw someone else's Facebook postings). The motion also stated "What Sarah Jones claims or denies as fact is certainly open for debate. She is the defendant on trial, and has a clear motive to deny facts."
The motion continues "discovery contains a recorded interview between Sarah Jones and Officer Inman, where Sarah Jones blatantly lies to the police when she denies exchanging text messages with the victim. Even the text messages themselves are wrought with Sarah Jones' commands to the victim to 'deny everything.'"
In the recorded police interview, Jones denies having texted the alleged victim and denied receiving texts from the alleged victim.
Deters filed a motion on Friday demanding the court cite Farmer with contempt for releasing the contents of the messages he said should have been sealed.
"We were drafting a motion to seal. Too late, Deters said. "In fact, as I was writing the motion to seal, I received a call from the news."
Deters asked the court to suppress the text messages or dismiss all charges because, according to him, the news reports would taint the jury pool and hurt his defense.
Jones is accused of having sex with a student while she was a teacher at Dixie Heights High School in Northern Kentucky.
Sara Farmer is the special prosecutor assigned to the case after Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders recused himself from the case.
A Kenton County grand jury indicted Jones in March of first degree sexual abuse and unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities.
Jones resigned from her teaching position in November.
Earlier this month, Sarah spoke publicly for the first time. She and her mother, Cheryl Jones, appeared on a radio show with Deters.
"It's very difficult to be patient, sit back and just read all those things, because I can assure you I read all those things, I research, I read nonstop, and it's difficult to read what the general public views of me, but I think this was my opportunity to kind of come out and give you an outlook of what I've been going through for the past 17 weeks," Sarah said on the radio.
Court documents claim the alleged relationship happened between October and December of last year.
Cheryl, who was the principal at Twenhofel Middle School in Independence, was indicted for tampering with evidence. She also claimed her innocence, saying she's shocked she was ever indicted in the first place.
The alleged victim's family is supporting the Jones'
"They are family friends of ours, it goes before any of this has even occurred, which is obviously in this case very rare. But it is very helpful to have their support, and to know that they are by my side every step of the way. I did not feel like justice has been done, up to this point. But, the general public makes their own assumptions, and once again that's why I'm okay with the story getting out there," Sarah said during the radio interview. Cheryl Jones was indicted for tampering with evidence. Cheryl was the principal at Twenhofel Middle School in Independence. She also claimed her innocence, saying she's shocked she was ever indicted in the first place.
The motion to dismiss hearing will be July 30 in Kenton County. The suppression hearing will take place on Sept. 21.