Sara Cole Jury Begins Deliberations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Santa Clara County Sheriff

    A South Bay jury is spending Wednesday deliberating the fate of a Los Gatos mother of four accused of having sex with her teenage son's 16-year-old friend.

    Deliberations follow a trial that got underway a week ago.

    Sara Cole, 48, pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of unlawful sex with a 16-year-old boy and one misdemeanor count of molesting or annoying a child.

    The alleged sexual relationship began in May 2010, prosecutors said. The 16-year-old told the jury of seven women and five men that he had sex with Cole nearly 40 times over the course of six months.

    The mother, who was then 47, and the best friend exchanged 5,413 text messages and had 863 phone conversations during those six months, Santa Clara County prosecutor Timothy Moore said.

    Cole's defense attorney said the mother had welcomed a troubled teen into her home and the 16-year-old sexually assaulted her. While testifying on Monday, Cole explained the text messages' graphic was simply bad dirty jokes.

    Cole said having four sons and their friends in her house often created a "locker room" type atmosphere.

    The trial wasn’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, she faces a maximum of four years and four months in prison, and has been out on $30,000 bail since being arrested last September.