September 17, 2014
Kevin Jones bent his head down and loudly called out to God as his loved ones clasped hands and formed a tight circle around him outside a Cook County courtroom Thursday afternoon.
The prayers didn’t hurt.
Roughly four hours later, jurors acquitted the former part-time high school basketball coach of having sex with a female student who played on the boys’ team at Epic Academy, a South Side Chicago Public charter school.
Jones, a 37-year-old father of two, was also cleared of pushing another teenage girl’s head toward his penis in the back of his car following a basketball game between Epic Academy and Hirsch High School on Jan. 17, 2013.
“I’m just overjoyed,” Jones said with tears in his eyes after the verdicts were read.
When Jones was charged with criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and attempted criminal sexual assault last year, he lost his job at Epic Academy as well as his position as a physical education teacher at LEARN charter school, 1700 W. 83rd.
Since he was out on bond, he’s had sheriff’s officers coming into his South Side home several times a day ensuring he isn’t in the presence of anyone under 18 except for his children.
Jones took the stand in his defense Wednesday and denied all the allegations against him.
He told reporters Thursday that he helped the teenager who accused of him of rape get a college scholarship and believed she was motivated to frame him for money.
The teen has since filed a civil lawsuit against Jones and Epic Academy, 8255 S. Houston Avenue.
On Wednesday, the young woman, now 18, said, Jones kissed her, made her fondle him and had sex with her at a South Side motel in late 2012. A month later, she said she gave into Jones’ request for oral sex after her classmate refused and ran out of his Ford Explorer.
During the two-day trial, defense attorney Dennis Sherman repeatedly stressed how the teenager made inconsistent statements about details surrounding the incidents before the grand jury and on the witness stand.
“Her stories just didn’t match,” a Jones’ supporter concluded Thursday.