The girlfriend of a Huntington Beach man convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl was found guilty Wednesday of lying in court in an attempt to aid his case.
A jury convicted Cynthia Marie Dunaway-Erickson, 52, of Huntington Beach of two felony counts of accessory after the fact and one felony count of perjury. She is scheduled for sentencing March 15.
Dunaway-Erickson testified in October 2016 on behalf of Jeffrey Scott Jones, a former teacher. She was arrested in November 2017.
Huntington Beach police and the Orange County district attorney’s office launched an investigation after they noticed inconsistencies between Dunaway-Erickson’s testimony and her statements to police, according to the DA’s office.
Between September 2012 and April 2013, Jones frequently abused a 13-year-old girl who was one of two female minors in Dunaway-Erickson’s care and lived with her and her boyfriend, prosecutors said. The relationship between the victim and Dunaway-Erickson and Jones has not been disclosed to protect the victim’s privacy.
Prosecutors said Jones raped the girl on two occasions and told her he would ruin her life if she told anyone.
On May 10, 2013, the day after one of the rapes, the girl ran away from home and told a friend’s mother what had happened, prosecutors said.
When Jones reported to police that the victim wouldn’t come home, police contacted the girl at the friend’s house. The girl told police that Jones had molested her, according to court documents.
Police took the girl to a hospital for a rape exam and a month later determined that Jones’ DNA matched DNA found on the girl. Jones was arrested at his home in June 2013.
When police offered to show Dunaway-Erickson the results of the rape kit tests, she refused to look at them, according to court documents.
Prosecutors alleged that when Dunaway-Erickson testified during Jones’ trial, she lied about how his semen got into the girl’s cervix.
Jones was convicted in October 2016 of two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of continuous sexual abuse. Jones slit his throat in court with a small razor blade immediately after being found guilty. He survived and was sentenced in March 2017 to 46 years to life in state prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender. He has appealed his conviction, according to court records.
At the time of the crimes, Jones was teaching Advanced Placement English at Libra Academy in Huntington Park.