Free Speech

Former High School Teacher, Bengals Cheerleader, Suing Website for Cyberbullying lawyers say she admitted to sleeping with a 17 year old when she was a teacher so their comments about her are fair game


Ex-high school teacher and one-time Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleader Sarah Jones took the stand Monday in the retrial of her potentially groundbreaking defamation lawsuit against online gossip website

The 28-year-old shed a few tears as she talked about being humiliated after the website published comments in 2009 alleging she was promiscuous and had sexually transmitted diseases.

"It is cyberbullying," the 28-year-old Jones said of the website's posts about her. "I don't believe what the website does is fair. I don't believe it is right."

Jones last October avoided jail time when she pleaded guilty to felony custodial interference and misdemeanor sexual conduct for having sex with a student. Cody York was 17 and a Dixie Heights High School senior at the time the sexual relationship happened.

David Gingras, attorney for the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based website, fired back that Jones has no reputation to defame after she admitted to a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student she taught.

"You must judge Sarah's reputation based on her actions," Gingras said. "Felony convictions are relevant to a person's credibility."

He acknowledged that his client "can be mean, but mean is not a crime."