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Ex-Ben-Gal testifies at retrial
The former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader who resigned from her teaching job in 2011 amid allegations of a sexual relationship with a student — and then got engaged to that student last month — took the stand Monday in a retrial of her lawsuit against the website TheDirty.com.
Sarah Jones is suing the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based gossip site for a reported $11 million over two posts from 2009 — before her relationship with the student began — alleging that she had sex with every Bengals player during her time as a cheerleader and that she likely had contracted two sexually transmitted diseases from her ex-husband, Nathan Wilburn.
The first anonymous post, a tip written to TheDirty.com operator Hooman Karamian (who goes by the name Nik Richie), was published on Oct. 27, 2009 and, according to court documents, read:
Nik, this is Sara J, Cincinnati Bengal[sic] Cheerleader. She's been spotted around town lately with the infamous Shayne Graham. She also has slept with every other Bengal Football player. This girl is a teacher too! You would think with Graham's paycheck he could attract something a little easier on the eyes Nik!
The second post, another tip to Karamian from Dec. 7, 2009, read:
Nik, here we have Sarah J, captain cheerleader of the playoff bound cinci bengals. . Most ppl see Sarah has [sic] a gorgeous cheerleader AND highschool teacher. . yes she's also a teacher . . but what most of you don't know is . . Her ex Nate . . cheated on her with over 50 girls in 4 yrs.. in that time he tested positive for Chlamydia Infection and Gonorrhea . . so im sure Sarah also has both . . what's worse is he brags about doing sarah in the gym . . football field . . her class room at the school where she teaches at DIXIE Heights.
Jones originally filed suit against TheDirty.com in August 2010 and won an $11 million judgment at the time. The case then went to trial in January of this year, but after jurors failed to return a verdict after two days of deliberations, U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman declared a mistrial.
During her testimony Monday, Jones referred to the website's actions as "cyber-bullying," according to NKY.com, telling the court, "I don’t believe what the website does is fair. I don’t believe it is right."
An attorney for TheDirty.com argued, however, that, while the case is separate from Jones’ other infamous trial, Jones had no reputation to defame after sleeping with one of her own students. In October 2012, Jones pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual misconduct and felony custodial interference.
“You must judge Sarah’s reputation based on her actions,” the attorney, David Gingras, said, according to NKY.com. “Felony convictions are relevant to a person’s credibility.”
Jones left the courtroom Monday holding hands with her student-turned-fiance, Cody York. She will retake the stand on Tuesday. Karamian and Wilburn are also expected to testify, and the case should to go to the jury of eight women and two men on Wednesday, according to NKY.com.