Sarah Jones Defamation Trial: Former Bengals Cheerleader Suing Blogger for $11 Million

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By Benge Nsenduluka , CP Reporter
January 22, 2013|10:09 am
  • Sarah
    (PHOTO) Twitter: @SarahBeth_26
    Sarah Jones and her boyfriend

Sarah Jones, the former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader recently convicted of having sex with her underage student, is back in court Tuesday for a new lawsuit.

The 27-year-old former teacher, who is now in a serious relationship with the previously underage student, is suing California blogger Hooman Karamian, also known as Nik Richie, for alleged defamation and invasion of privacy, according to Fox News.

Richie, founder of TheDirty.com, is accused of posting a photo of Jones on his website on December 7, 2009. After that he posted a series of lewd statements about the northern Kentucky native, for which she is seeking $11 million in damages.

The "Couple's Therapy" star reportedly at one point referred to Jones as a "dirty Bengals cheerleader." In another post Richie, 33, allegedly claimed that Jones' ex-boyfriend transmitted chlamydia and gonorrhea to her after contracting the sexual transmitted diseases through cheating on her with 50 other women or more.

The posts were reportedly viewed by thousands of TheDirty.com readers.

Richie's attorney, David Gingras, claims that his client is protected by the Federal Communications Decency Act. The Act, which was passed by Congress in 1995, protects internet bloggers like Richie, as it recognizes that they are not legally liable for the words of third parties who use their services.

"It would basically destroy the ability of websites like Facebook that allow users to post comments. ... Once you strip away their immunity, once you make it conditional, you open the door to allow them to get sued," Gingras told Daily Mail, emphasizing the severity of Jones' lawsuit.

Jones' attorney, Eric Deters, argues that Richie is not protected under the Act, and claims that he is fully responsible for the posts allegedly written about his client. Richie has denied the posts ever existed.

"Unlike social media sites such as Facebook or YouTube that allow someone to put up something and they don't comment about it, Nik Richie personally acts as the editor in determining what goes up," Deters said. "It's nothing more than an electronic newspaper that peddles smut."

Jones made headlines in 2012 after having a sexual relationship with her 17-year-old student. She was able to avoid jail time after pleading guilty to sexual misconduct charges in a plea deal made with prosecutors.

She agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges of sexual misconduct and custodial interference. This proved true the allegations that she had sex with the teenage student while she was working as a freshman English teacher at Dixie Heights High School in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

Jones was sentenced to five years of diversion with no jail time, which requires her to report to a court-appointed probation officer to undergo drug regular tests. She can also never apply for any teaching job again.

 

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