MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Memphis Police officer will not serve any jail time after pleading guilty Monday to statutory rape of a teenager.
Former Memphis Police Officer Jeffrey Jones allegedly raped the girl when she was 15 years old. The victim, who is not being named, said she was disappointed in the plea deal.
“The court system has failed me in every way possible,” she said. “This so-called man sitting in front of me gets to walk free. Free to do this again because he got away with something, and it’s unforgivable in the eyes of God.”
Jones was facing two counts of rape and a sexual battery charge by an authority figure. His indictment stated he “sexually penetrated” and “intentionally engaged in sexual contact” with a teenage girl.
Records also say a camera was placed in the teen’s bedroom without her knowledge.
However, just days before his trial, he took an Alford plea to a lesser charge of statutory rape. It’s a plea that doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges enough evidence for a conviction.
Monday morning, Judge Jennifer Fitzgerald signed off the plea deal, agreeing to judicial diversion for one year at the state’s recommendation.
We spoke to Jones’ attorney after the hearing, who says it was a negotiated plea based on all the facts and circumstances. When he asked if he thought Jones was innocent, Arthur Quinn responded, “You should never ask a lawyer that question. That’s irrelevant. The issue is what do the facts show.”
The victim and her mother testified in court that Jones was close to the family and had known the victim since she was at least eight years old.
“You were an officer of the law, sworn in to protect and serve, but you did the exact opposite. We trusted you, and you took the innocence of my daughter,” the victim’s mother said.
“You know what you did to me, and God knows what you did to me,” the victim said. “You may be able to lie and cheat your way out of this courtroom, but you will never be able to lie to the man upstairs.”
Under the circumstances of his probation, Jones is not allowed to contact the victim, must serve three days of community service and has to attend counseling. Jones will have the opportunity to request the statutory rape charge be expunged from his record after his probation.
His next court date will be June 5, 2024.