#teacher | The Grayson Co. News-Gazette, Leitchfield, KY

A 28-year-old former Grayson County High School teacher was sentenced last week to serve three years behind bars for the sexual abuse of a minor student in 2018.

On Aug. 2, 2019, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for the 46th Judicial Circuit, in exchange for a guilty plea, offered to amend former teacher Jonathan Jones’ criminal charge from third-degree sodomy to first-degree sexual abuse; require him to register for 20 years as a sex offender, complete a sex offender treatment program, have a five-year sex offender conditional discharge, and have no contact with and stay at least 500 feet away from his victim; and permit him to be eligible for parole after serving 85 percent of his sentence.

On Sept. 17, 2019, Jones changed his plea from not guilty to guilty, accepting the Commonwealth’s offer.

Then, last Tuesday, Circuit Judge Kenneth H. Goff II formally sentenced Jones to serve three years in jail for the charge of first-degree sexual abuse (a Class D felony), as well as abide by the additional aforementioned requirements set by the Commonwealth in his plea deal. Jones was thereafter lodged in the Grayson County Detention Center.

The sentence follows Jones’ being criminally charged in the spring of 2018 following sexual misconduct with a student. He was later fired from his position as a teacher.

On March 8, 2018, Jones engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with a then-17-year-old female. He was arrested four days later on the charge of third-degree sodomy (a Class D felony).

Jones made bond and was released from jail shortly after his arrest, and, according to Jones’ pre-trial bond order, he was to have no contact with his victim, but, court files say, on Jan. 6, 2019 he violated that order by attempting to add her on Snapchat.

Following an investigation, prosecutors requested that Jones’s bond be revoked and a warrant be issued for his arrest.

Grayson Circuit Court on Jan. 22, 2019 opted not to revoke Jones’s bond but instead impose a sentence of 60 days in jail with 50 of those days’ being suspended. Jones served the remaining sentence of 10 days over five consecutive weekends.

After Jones’ sentencing last week, he and his attorney, Ronald Hines, whose office is located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, gave notice to the Commonwealth that on Feb. 18 they will file a motion for Jones to be granted shock probation, which — so long as it is made no earlier than 30 days nor later than 180 days after a defendant has been incarcerated in a county jail following conviction — permits a defendant to have the remainder of his or her sentence be suspended and be placed on probation.

Per Kentucky Revised Statute 439.265, Jones will be detained in the Grayson County Detention Center until Feb. 18, at which point his motion for shock probation will be brought before the court.

KRS 439.265 also grants the judge who imposed the sentence the authority to rule on a motion for shock probation.

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