SANTA ANA, Calif. — A former teacher slit his throat in a California courtroom Wednesday morning after a jury convicted him on multiple accounts of sexual assault, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Jeffrey Scott Jones, of Huntington Beach, was found guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and a single count of continuous sexual abuse, according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. All the charges were felonies.
The 56-year-old man apparently produced a small razor blade around 11 a.m. and cut his throat while the verdict was being read inside the Santa Ana courtroom, District Attorney Heather Brown told the paper.
Jones, who was screaming and bleeding from his neck, was rushed to a hospital in unknown condition after medical personnel tried to stop the bleeding, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The bleeding was “profuse,” according to Jones’ attorney, Edward Welbourn.
The injuries were not life-threatening, Lt. Mark Stichter told the Times.
His attorneys told the newspaper they did not know how he obtained the razor blade; the lieutenant only confirmed that Jones had used some type of “cutting instrument.”
The sheriff’s department is investigating how he was able to bring a blade into the courtroom.
Jones taught for 27 years at Bell High School in Bell and Gahr High School in Cerritos, the DA’s release stated. The victim was not one of the defendant’s students.
He was working as an advanced placement English teacher at Libra Academy in Huntington Park when the crime occurred, according to prosecutors.
Jones started abusing the victim when she was in the eighth grade, Brown said during the trial. He first made sexual comments, before beginning to inappropriately touch her in the fall of 2012, Brown told the Times.
Jones raped her the following spring, when the victim was just 13, according to the DA’s office.
“On May 4, 2013, and May 9, 2013, Jones raped the victim, stating that he would ruin her life if she told anyone what he was doing,” the release stated. “The victim went to a friend’s home and the defendant went to get her. The friend’s mother refused to allow the defendant to take Jane Doe.”
The investigation into the case began in May, and Jones was arrested late in June.
“During the trial, a female relative of the victim testified for the defendant and gave an alternative explanation as to how the defendant’s semen was found inside of the victim’s cervix. In rebuttal, evidence was introduced that the defendant had sex with two minor former students for an extended period of time,” the release said.
Jones faces a maximum sentence of 68 years to life in state prison when he returns for sentencing on Nov. 4, according to prosecutors.