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Sarah Jones Pleads Guilty

It's hard not to comment on the Sarah Jones guilty plea in Covington yesterday.  Above all, Eric Deters is a master at self promotion.  That said, he did an honorable job handling the case. He gave the prosecution pause and made the judge consider a virtually unwinnable suppression motion.  He also delivered a three-fold winner for his client: (1) publicity, which she evidently craves; (2) a diversion offer which will allow the case to be dismissed if she follows the terms of probation; and (3) no registration as a sex offender. If the judge had suppressed the text messages, it is likely the case would have proceeded to trial.  Although Mr. Deters claims they are simply "racy" and "embarrasing" there is a high likelihood that they also contained incriminatory statements made by Ms. Jones and/or statements made by the then juvenile that were not denied.  Her guilty plea, and her allocution to the court, there left no doubt about her involvement with the minor. The plea took place before Judge Patricia Summe in Kenton Circuit Court.  Numerous media outlets covered the courtroom and Ms. Jones made a very loud statement without speaking by holding hands with the "victim" in this matter as she left the courtroom.  While there is no telling if it was for effect or if their relationship is ongoing, evidently she has landed an interview on the Today show and Dateline, both on NBC. Sarah Jones and Eric Deters are neither a stranger to courtroom publicity.  Ms. Jones continues to have a lawsuit pending in which she claims defamation, libel and slander against a website.  She gained a default judgement, but turned out the wrong legal entity (business) was sued.  The case is still pending in Northern Kentucky.  It is unclear whether the plea here will affect any potential judgment in the civil lawsuit. Ms. Jones is no longer a teacher under the terms of the plea agreement.  She is also no longer a Ben-Gal cheerleader, but works in Mr. Deters law office.

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