A former teacher was found guilty of raping a female relative when she was 13 years old — and responded to the verdict by taking out a razor blade and slitting his throat in the courtroom.
According to reports, Jeffrey Scott Jones was still in the hospital in stable condition as of Thursday afternoon, a day after he was taken away in handcuffs and bleeding from the Orange County Superior Court in California.
The 56-year-old was convicted of two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of continuous sexual behavior.
Authorities say the repeated sexual abuse occurred between 2012-2013. According to the district attorney’s statement, Jones “raped the victim” twice in May 2013, “stating that he would ruin her life if she told anyone what he was doing.”
Jones had been a teacher for 27 years, though the victim was not one of his students. While the victim tried to defend Jones in trial, the prosecution gave evidence showing the teacher also had sex with two minor former students.
District attorney chief of staff Susan Kang Schroeder told People:
“That’s not the type of person we ever want as a teacher. This is a case where you’ve got an extremely vulnerable victim who was abused by the defendant, who was in a position of trust with the victim├óΓé¼┬ª This is a tragic, horrible, injurious assault on a 13-year-old girl.”
Schroeder confirmed the victim was not present in the courtroom when Jones cut himself with a razor blade.
As for how the blade was produced in court, authorities are reviewing the incident and the court’s weapons screening “to determine how the blade entered the building, and to determine if modifications need to be made in the screening process.”
County Sheriff Mark Stichter said of the self-inflicted injury:
“We don’t know if that is something he brought in off the street or if that is something he located once he got into the courthouse. We’re trying to determine that.”
Jones faces 68 years to life in prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced on November 4.
[Image via Orange County District Attorney’s Office.]