A former Miss Kentucky has admitted to sending sexually explicit photographs to a 15-year-old former student.
Ramsey BethAnn Bearse—who was crowned Miss Kentucky in 2014—pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of possession of material depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct after authorities said she sent nude photos of herself to the teenager, local station WCHS reports.
“I’m sorry that I made a mess of things,” she said in court. “I made a mistake.”
Bearse, who had been a teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School In West Virginia, said the relationship began innocently as she often tried to keep in touch with her former students over Snapchat to find out how school was going and whether they had enjoyed their summer.
But the relationship crossed the line, she said, when the student started asking her “a lot of questions” and she “shared too much information” about her personal life.
“Basically, that my husband was working all the time and was too distracted and overwhelmed with work to pay attention to me,” she said in court. “In addition, since I moved to West Virginia, I felt like I was completely alone. None of my family lives here, and I didn’t have any friends.”
She said she accidentally sent the student a risqué photo of herself she had meant to send her husband, but then the student asked for more photos and she “was afraid not to appease him.”
In a criminal compliant obtained by Metro News shortly after her arrest in 2018, deputies said Bearse admitted sending photos to the teen of her “nude breast/chest area.”
Authorities discovered the relationship after one of the 15-year-old’s parents discovered the sexually explicit images and reported it to investigators.
“Since I am the adult, and he was just a teenager, it is my fault, and I accept full blame for the situation,” Bearse said Tuesday according to the Associated Press. “So that’s how I’m guilty of this crime. I messed up big-time.”
The former teacher faces up to two years in prison. She is expected to be sentenced in January.
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