A former beauty queen, who once earned the title of Miss Kentucky, has been sentenced to two years for sending a teen boy topless photos of herself.
Ramsey Bearse received the maximum possible sentence Wednesday after a judge determined Bearse had violated the trust she had as a middle school teacher and failed to accept responsibility for her actions, according to West Virginia news outlet Metro News.
Bearse had been a teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Cross Lanes, West Virginia when authorities said she sent at least four topless photos of herself through Snapchat to a teen boy from August 2018 to October 2018, local station WSAZ reports.
She pleaded guilty in December to one count of possession of material depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct.
In addition to the prison sentence, Bearse was also sentenced to 10 years of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender for life, according to The Associated Press.
Bearse was arrested after the teen’s parent found the images on his phone.
The former teacher previously said in court that she had meant to send the images to her husband. When the teen asked for additional photos, she said she was “afraid not to appease him.”
On Wednesday, Bearse said via Skype that she was sorry for her actions.
Al Emch, a Charleston attorney and family friend of Bearse, described her to the judge as a “good person” and said it had been an isolated incident while speaking on her behalf.
“There’s a lot of publicity surrounding this situation because of Ramsey’s notoriety and past background but no one else has come forward because there was no one else,” he said, according to Metro News. “She’s been very honest, straightforward, remorseful, sorrowful about this situation.”
Bearse’s attorney Tim DiPiero had also argued that his client’s multiple sclerosis would make prison a life or death situation for her and said she had already paid a steep price for her actions.
“She’s not just received local attention. She’s received national attention and been subjected to vile and crude jokes,” he said.
The victim’s mother told the court her son would need counseling from the incident and said she believed Bearse’s attorney had tried to make it seem like her son had not been the victim.
Bearse was ordered to self-report to jail on Monday.
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