Ex-Bengals Cheerleader Sarah Jones and Mother Plead 'Not Guilty' in Student Sex Case

Cheerleader's mother is accused of tampering with evidence.

ByABC News
April 2, 2012, 12:13 PM

April 2, 2012— -- A former Bengals cheerleader accused of sex abuse, and her mother, a middle school principal who allegedly covered up the crime, entered pleas of not guilty during their arraignment Monday in Kenton County, Ky.

Sarah Jones, one-time captain of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleading squad and a former high school teacher, is accused of sexually abusing a student and unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities.

Sarah Jones' mother, Cheryl Jones, is accused of tampering with evidence in connection with her daughter's case. Cheryl Jones is currently suspended from her job as middle school principal pending a further investigation.

Both Sarah and Cheryl Jones were arrested following a grand jury investigation into the charges.

At the courthouse on Monday the pair was joined by a dozen supporters, including the family of the alleged victim, according to ABC News affiliate WCPO.

Though the alleged victim's family supports Sarah Jones, Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Sarah Farmer said the state would continue to prosecute the case against both Sarah and Cheryl Jones.

"The commonwealth feels that we have sufficient proof to go forward," Farmer told ABCNews.com.

At the arraignment, Judge Patricia Summe ordered Sarah and Cheryl Jones to avoid contact with the alleged victim and to disable the text messaging component of their phones.

Forensic evidence for the case was collected by taking Sarah Jones' computers and phone records.

The trial date for both Sarah and Cheryl Jones was set for June 27.

With both mother and daughter involved in education, the case has caused ripples through the local school district. Kenton County Superintendant Terri Cox-Cruey, who oversees the middle school where Cheryl Jones served as principal, told WCPO that the district was closely monitoring the situation.

"We want all our students to be safe," she told WCPO.

Charles T. Lester Jr., the lawyer for both Sarah and Cheryl Jones, issued a statement according to WCPO.

"Sarah has maintained her innocence," Lester wrote. "The indictment of her mother is completely baseless. Cheryl Jones did not tamper with evidence."

Lester had no further comment after the arraignment this morning.