Molly Shattuck (Right) with the Ravens Cheerleaders
Molly Shattuck, who gained some fame 10 years ago as the older cheerleader in the NFL at 38-years-old, entered a plea in her sex offense case. She pleaded guilty to performing a sex act on a boy who was 15-years-old at the time. She was accused, basically, of giving him a blow job and some other counts of providing alcohol to minors, which have been dropped. Sentencing is several weeks away, where it is anticipated that she will ask the court not to sentence her to incarceration, since she is a first-time offender. She will be designated as a sex-offender, and must report for at least 25 years.
This offense is a felony, unlike the misdemeanor former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones pled to a couple years ago.
Former Bengal Cheerleader Sarah Jones
Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones successfully sued theDirty.com publisher Nik Richie for rumors posted on his website. She was awarded over $300,000 by a Kentucky jury on the civil suit. The case will be heard today by the Federal Appellate court in Cincinnati. What’s at issue, and why the case is being watched by internet publishers everywhere, is the liability of the website for content that was not posted by theDirty, rather by internet commentors. The appellate decision will have far-reaching implications for internet publisher’s potential liability for third-party contributors. A decision probably won’t be handed down for several months.
Jones also made news for her relationship with a student for whom she was a teacher. She was convicted of a related misdemeanor in that case. Crimcourts has had extensive coverage of the Jones cases: https://crimcourts.wordpress.com/category/ohio/sarah-jones/
UPDATE: Cincinnati.com has more on the 1st Amendment implications of the court’s decision on this case.
Posted in Civil, Criminal Law, Federal, First Amendment, Ohio, Sarah Jones
Tagged bengals, cheerleader, cincinnati, defamation, kentucky, nik richie, sarah jones, sexcrime, thedirty
Former Bengals Cheerleader Sarah Jones
Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones, (a cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals), won her defamation suit today in Federal Court in Northern Kentucky. The jury awarded her $338,000.00 for the harm to her reputation. The case is extremely noteworthy from a tech and journalistic point of view, because the judge ruled that thedirty.com and operator Nik Richie were not immune from liability for third-party comments. The judge distinguished the site because Richie solicited the comments and responded with more of his own. Essentially, the court found that he could be liable since he was involved in the comments, and the jury found him liable as well. However, the jury did not award Ms. Jones the multimillion-dollar verdict that Jones’ attorney Eric Deters asked for with the intent of putting the website out of business. Collecting on this judgment will still be a challenge for Jones and Deters.
Former Cincinnati Ben-Gal Sarah Jones lost her teaching job and was convicted of some criminal misdemeanors for an illicit affair she conducted with one of her former (adult) students. It appears that the story may have a happy ending, as the Enquirer reports that she and the beau are now engaged. Young love! It began with a rocky start, but let’s hope it works out for the couple.
Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones
The jury deadlocked after their second day of deliberation in the former Bengal cheerleader Sarah Jones’ defamation case against TheDirty.com and it’s owner, Nik Richie. According to wcpo.com, the jury was 9-1 in Jones’ favor, though this would only indicate liability, not what amount would be awarded. I have previously speculated that even if TheDirty is found liable, the 11 million dollars requested seems exhorbitant. Jones’ attorney, Eric Deters, has previoiusly indicated he would try the case again if the jury deadlocked. The results of this trial will have little to no bearing on any retrial of the case.
Former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones
TheDirty.com blogger known as Nik Richie testified today, as did Ms. Jones. Regardless whether he is liable for the comments of others, Ms. Jones will have a difficult time proving damages, as today she testified that she did not lose either job after the post was made. She is almost certainly a public figure, providing Mr. Richie more leeway for commentary, and a higher burden on her to prove her case. Also, she could come across as greedy for asking for 11 million dollars. She may be entitled to some money for the harm to her reputation, but not 11 million dollars. This case is essentially unrelated to her criminal case for sleeping with her student.
Sarah Jones modelling
wcpo.com was able to get the interrogation video from Sarah’s pre-arrest interview. Nothing shocking if you already saw the Dateline interview, as they played substantial clips, but worth a look if you’ve followed the Sarah Jones story. Be sure to check out our Sarah Jones archive.
Ex Bengal Cheerleader, and high school teacher, Sarah Jones
Sarah Jones is going to speak on national TV, this Friday on Dateline to talk about the case and her relationship with her student. Her young lover will also be speaking with Dateline reporters, as will the prosecutor and one or more of the investigators who worked on the case. Looks like it’s going to get the full Dateline treatment as their primary story, though you can get the whole back story here on Crimcourts, just click on the Sarah Jones category and search back through our archives as we have been on top of the case since starting this blog. You can catch a preview of the show here. #sarahjones #badcheerleader
Former Ben-Gal Cheerleader Sarah Jones
Sarah Jones, the former Ben-Gal who recently plead guilty to an inappropriate sexual relationship with a high-school student, has broken her silence about the case and her relationship. M.L. Nestel at The Daily has the scoop. She has given a brief commentary to The Daily, but she also plans interviews with NBC for “Today” and “Dateline” tomorrow. If you are as fascinated by this train wreck as I am, I’m sure they will be worth checking out.
The Daily Mail also did this in-depth background article, complete with more photos and an interview with Ms. Jones’ ex-husband. Apparently prosecutors allege the affair may have started while she was still married. Ms. Jones continues to pursue the defamation case against The Dirty, which alleged that she had an affair and contracted STD’s from one or more Bengals players. The case was originally filed against the wrong party, and at last report, the new case is still pending against the correct entity that publishes TheDirty.com website. I will try to follow-up when her TV interviews are broadcast.
UPDATE: Apparently there is no Dateline appearance yet, and the Today interview didn’t happen. We shall keep an eye out…
UPDATE 2: She’ll be on Dateline Friday, Details here!
Site views from around the world
The Sarah Jones story really has gone global, as it’s attracted visitors here from around the world, as you can see on my stats image, above. Yesterday saw visitors from Malaysia, Egypt and Taiwan! Kudos to wcpo.com for leading the coverage on this, especially Kendall Herold. You can see the full story on their website, including video of Ms. Jones and the victim leaving the courtroom hand-in-hand. As her attorney, Eric Deters, says on the video, there is nothing wrong with her having a relationship with the boy at this time.
But wait, isn’t the age of consent 16 in Kentucky? Wasn’t the “victim” 17 at the time of the offense? That’s correct, except that Kentucky, like many other states, has a statute prohibiting sexual contact between minors and persons in a position of trust. So, 16-year-old girl dates a 30-year-old… no problem. But if a 17-year-old boy has contact with his cheerleader-teacher, she commits First Degree Sexual Abuse. But for some prosecutorial discretion, she would be a felon, face prison time, and be branded a sex offender for the next decade or two (25 years in Florida). Kudos to Ms. Farmer and the Commonwealth for having the good sense to resolve this case equitably. Unfortunately, legislators around the country pass these harsh laws but many times prosecutors aren’t willing to be as reasonable as Mr. Farmer. Obviously, it’s important to protect children from abuse of persons in positions of trust, but the dangerous sexual predators should be handled differently than consensual situations between near-adults.
Sarah Jones, former Ben-Gal Cheerleader
The wcpo.com reports states that Ms. Jones will comment further on her relationship with the “victim” at some future date. I will keep an eye out for that and post any updates on this blog as they become available. Until then, I will have to find another story that gives me an excuse to run pretty cheerleader photos. She had to give up her teaching career due to her own bad choices, and isn’t going to try to go back to the Ben-Gals. Deters reports that she has been working in his office as a legal assistant, and that she’s considering law school. Crimcourts wishes her the best of luck in her future endeavors. It’s good that a lapse in judgment, while immediately devastating, won’t prevent her from moving on and having a happy, productive life. Good work by Eric Deters and the Commonwealth attorneys for working this out reasonably. #sarahjones