A Huntington Beach man who in October slit his throat in court after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old relative was sentenced Friday to 46 years to life in state prison.
Jeffrey Scott Jones, 57, also was ordered by Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to court records.
A jury convicted Jones of two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of continuous sexual abuse.
As the verdict was read, Jones picked up a small razor blade and sliced his throat. Jones, who had previously been released on bail, was rushed to a hospital for treatment before being taken into custody.
Jones had been a teacher for 27 years, including at Bell High School in Bell. At the time of the crimes, he was teaching Advanced Placement English at Libra Academy in Huntington Park.
Between September 2012 and April 2013, prosecutors said, Jones frequently sexually abused a girl when she was 13. The girl was not one of his students.
On two occasions, he raped the girl and told her he would ruin her life if she told anyone what he was doing, according to prosecutors.
On May 10, 2013, the day after one of the rapes, the girl went to a friend's mother and told her what happened, prosecutors said.
Police took the girl to a hospital for a rape exam and a month later determined that Jones' DNA was a match with DNA found on the girl. Jones was arrested at his home in June 2013.
In a letter read in court Friday, the girl described the difficulties she has faced the past few years.
"You [Jones] broke and brought me down to feel worthless," she wrote. "There were days I blamed myself, thinking I did something wrong, to the point that I wanted to take my life. … I was a little girl and you took my innocence. Parents and kids trusted you to be a teacher, not a predator."