No ruling yet on admissibility of text messages in sex abuse case
Sarah Jones and her defense team were back in court today for a suppression hearing to prevent potentially incriminating text messages from being allowed at trial.
These text messages are likely central to the Prosecution’s case because they are the primary evidence of a sexual relationship between Jones and the alleged victim, Cody York, while she was a teacher and he was a student at Dixie Heights High School.
District Judge Kenneth Easterling signed the November 23 search warrant that provided for the content of the text messages. Jones and her attorney, Eric Deters, argue that the text messages were not properly obtained because Judge Easterling personally knew the alleged victim.
The major points of contention in the suppression hearing are the divergent stories of Judge Easterling and York.
Easterling testified that he did not know York when he signed the search warrant in question.
“The first time that I’ve ever spoken or seen Cody York was three months after I signed the search warrant in this case,” said Easterling.
York made his first appearance in court in this case, providing a different version of his connection with Easterling. York testified that Easterling had previously fixed a speeding ticket for him and that he had been to the judge’s home.
Defense attorney asked York directly: “Prior to November 23, 2011, did Judge Easterling know who you were?” To which York responded “Yes.”
York also testified that he texted and spoke with Easterling on the phone pertaining to the prior speeding ticket, while Easterling testified that he’s never seen a text to the alleged victim show up on a record.
Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe will have to decide what story she believes in determining whether the text messages are tainted evidence.
Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial
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