Jessica Jones, an art teacher in the Springfield, Missouri, schools, took in one of her troubled students as a foster daughter — and then proceeded to engage in sexual acts with the 14-year-old girl so many times that the girl couldn’t even remember them all, according to what the now-16-year-old former foster child told investigators last month.
Jones, 32, was arraigned Thursday in a Greene County court and officially charged with statutory sodomy and child endangerment. But the victim in the case, who is now 16-years-old, originally denied that Jones had ever been involved in any inappropriate activity with her. The teen, whose name is not being made public, later changed her story.
She had lied during her first interview with investigators, she told them on June 9, because she felt comfortable living with Jones in her home and “felt she had nowhere else to go, so she did not want Jessica to get in trouble.”
Jones also took in another foster child, and it was that child who first alerted police to the apparent sexual relationship between the foster mom and the 14-year-old in 2013.
During a routine interview at a Missouri Child Advocacy Center in June of 2014, the second foster child living with Jones said that the foster mom and daughter regularly slept in the same bed.
She also told the interviewers that Jones took the 14-year-old girl to an adult sex shop, where the two purchased pornographic material.
Police opened an investigation but called it off when the alleged victim flatly denied that anything inappropriate of a sexual nature had transpired between her foster mom and herself.
But she changed her story, she told investigators, after Jones forced her to go to the mental health unit at a hospital, where Jones told doctors that the girl was overly aggressive and suicidal.
The girl denied that she exhibited either of those behaviors and believed instead that Jones was angry and jealous because she had started spending more time with friends her own age than with her foster mom.
The victim also told police that she and Jones would drink alcohol and smoke marijuana together, and that Jones even gave her $80 to buy pot for them. They would even drink when visiting Jones’s parents, consuming the alcohol out of unmarked bottles to keep their secret.
It was after one drinking session in July 2013 that Jones first performed a sexual act — an act of oral sex — on her, the girl told police. After that, according to court records, the adult and the teen performed oral sex on each other “so many times she could not remember,” between the summer if 2013 and May of 2015.
Jones was released on $25,000 bond. Her arraignment came one day before a teacher in Florida, Jennifer Fichter, who was convicted of having sex with three male students even becoming pregnant by one of them, was sentenced to 22 years behind bars.
The Springfield School District, which employs Jessica Jones as an art teacher, said through a spokesperson that it had not decided what action to take against Jones yet because it is summer and Jones will not have any contact with students again until the school year begins.
[Image: Greene County Sheriff’s Office]