Most people think it’s wrong to profit from a crime (there’s even a law against it called the Son of Sam Law)–no one should really be rewarded for doing bad things, right? So why did a sex offender get a reality TV deal?
Because, in this case, the criminal was a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader.
Sarah Jones, the former captain of the Bengals cheerleading squad and a high school English teacher, was charged with sexual misconduct for having sex with a 17-year-old student. Sarah is pretty, brunette, and was a face of the NFL–she even appeared on their Bengals calendar covers! So a lot of people didn’t view the student, Cody York, as a victim. It was more like high-fives in the hallway for him and whispers of “tramp” and “slut” in the hallway for her. While it can, in part, be attributed to slut shaming, there’s something else really creepy about the case. What is it?
Picture this with the genders reversed. If an older dude preyed on a female student, do you think he’d get a reality show? Do you think they’d be supported? Would it be a bragging right for the student? Probably not. He’d be considered a perv and gross. She even admitted in court, “I began a romantic relationship while he was a student and I was in a position of authority. Our romantic relationship included voluminous phone calls and text messages. I sent sexually explicit text messages to Cody York when he was a student. I had sexual contact including sexual intercourse with Cody York in Kenton County, Kentucky, while he was a student and I was a teacher.” Uh, that’s the wrong thing to do. And while it wasn’t illegal for her to walk out of court hand-in-hand with Cody, it probably sent a really bad message to the justice system: “Hey, look what I got away with!”
Sarah Jones plead guilty, and as a result of avoiding a trial, she’s got five years of probation and won’t have to register as a sex offender, but because she was convicted of a sex crime, that’s technically what she is. She’s just not listed in the database as one, you dig?
Sarah and Cody, who recently came out as a couple, are going to get a reality series about their relationship, and Sarah and Cody have been paid for other television appearances they’ve made about the case, including Dateline NBC specials. We can’t imagine this will be entertaining at all to watch, and, if anything, would just gross us out. What people do in their sex lives is their business, unless what they’re doing is illegal.
Here’s hoping everyone has good enough taste not to watch this hot mess of a show. If the ratings are low enough, maybe everyone involved will learn that there are real consequences to their actions–and that their relationship may not just be unhealthy and ill-fated, but also not too lucrative.
Do you think Sarah Jones should get a reality show about her relationship with Cody York? Do you think any other sex offender would get a TV deal? Do you think if the genders were reversed that the sex offender would get a worse rep? Do you think Sarah Jones should have been in trouble for her relationship with Cody York even though it was consensual? Tell us in the comments!