Los Gatos resident Sara Cole was given the gift of time after surviving a violent drunk driving accident in 2007, but now a jury will decide if at least part of that time should be spent behind bars.
Cole, 48, is charged with three felony counts of unlawful sex with a minor. Her trial was scheduled to begin Wednesday.
Prosecutors will try to prove that Cole molested her son’s 16-year-old best friend. Court documents show the Los Gatos High School student accused Cole of luring him with marijuana and alcohol, and even kissing him while her son was playing video games in the next room.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the pair reportedly had sexual intercourse on three separate occasions, including one instance in Cole’s car.
The two are expected to be reunited inside a Santa Clara County courtroom because the victim is expected to testify.
His parents approached police last summer after they found disturbing text messages allegedly sent by Cole. Over the seven-month relationship, the Mercury News reports that Cole and the victim exchanged 5,413 text messages and 863 phone calls.
"We allege that she had sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old boy three times,” Deputy District Attorney Tim Moore told The Patch. "That's what I intend fully to prove."
Wednesday’s trial won’t be the first time Cole has been in the public spotlight. After being struck by a drunk driver in September of 2007, she spent time in the hospital where she underwent at least four major surgeries. She received media coverage of her plight, community members hosted a car wash in order to raise funds for her medical bills, and friends and strangers provided food for her family.
Cole was then asked by Los Gatos Police to speak out against drunken driving at a community event. The jury will not hear any of that part of her story. The prosecution won a motion to exclude all details of the accident during pretrial motions.
If convicted, the mother of four faces a maximum of four years and four months in prison, and has been out on $30,000 bail since being arrested last September.