A former teacher who slit his own throat in a Santa Ana courtroom last year immediately after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl was sentenced Friday to 46 years to life in state prison, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.
In addition to prison, 57-year-old Jeffrey Jones, of Huntington Beach, will have to register as a sex offender, a DA’s news release stated.
Jones was found guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and a single count of continuous sexual abuse, according to the release.
After his conviction on Oct. 19, 2016, Jones produced a razor blade in court and cut his own throat. He was rushed to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, the DA’s office said.
Jones had been accused of “frequently and continuously” sexually assaulted the then-13-year-old girl between Sept. 1, 2012, and April 30, 2013, while he taught advanced placement English at Libra Academy in Huntington Park, according to the release.
He raped the victim on May 4, 2013, and again on May 9, 2013, telling the girl he would ruin her life if she told anyone what happened, prosecutors said.
The crime was reported to the Huntington Beach Police Department that same month, and Jones was arrested on June 27, 2013.
During his sentencing Friday, an impact statement delivered on behalf of the victim was read in front of the court.
In it, she spoke of how difficult her life had been in the past few years.
“You broke and brought me down to feel worthless. There were days I blamed myself thinking I did something wrong to the point that I wanted to take my life,” her statement said. “I was a little girl and you took my innocence. Parents and kids trusted you to be a teacher, not a predator.”
The statement concluded by saying, “I have a family and a support system that you can’t take from me. I refuse to allow your abuse to stop the woman I want to become.”