CINCINNATI - A former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader who had sex with her underage student and is now in a relationship with him began another court battle Tuesday.
Sarah Jones is a 27-year-old Northern Kentucky woman who was convicted three months ago of having sex with her 17-year-old student.
She's suing a controversial Arizona-based gossip website, TheDirty.com, and its owner over lewd comments made about her online long before any accusations involving the teenager surfaced.
A jury of 10 was selected for the trial Tuesday morning in federal court in Covington, Ky.
Jones' defamation suit against TheDirty.com claims the website wrote and published lies about her. The website said she had sex with Bengals players while working as a cheerleader for the team, and had sexually transmitted diseases. The website also accused the former Dixie Heights High School teacher of having sex with a man in her classroom.
Opening statements were made Tuesday afternoon on behalf of Sarah Jones and the owner of TheDirty.com, Nick Richey.
Attorney Alex Ward, representing Nick Richey, showed 13 video clips in his opening statement. He said the plaintiff, Sarah Jones, was not a private person and the postings on TheDirty.com were substantially true.
Ward also said that Jones’ reputation was not hurt by the postings on the website and that she, in fact, harmed her own reputation by her criminal actions and that this case was purely for money.
Attorney Eric Deters, representing Sarah Jones, refuted Ward’s statements saying that Jones did not have sex with anyone at the location of Dixie Heights High School or with anyone on the Bengals football team.
Deters referred to Nick Richey as “a big man from Arizona mocking us,” on his website.
Jones is seeking $11 million in damages.
If she wins, an attorney for the website owner says other websites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter could be bombarded by lawsuits over material posted by their users.
Jones pleaded guilty to sex abuse and admitted to having sex with a 17-year-old student while she worked as an English teacher at Dixie Heights High School.
In exchange for Sarah's guilty plea, the prosecution dropped the charge to sexual misconduct. Also, the charge of unlawful use of electronic means was changed to custodial interference.
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