Jury in Los Gatos Molestation Trial Reaches Verdicts - NBC Bay Area

Jury in Los Gatos Molestation Trial Reaches Verdicts

Sara Cole not found guilty on any of the more serious felony counts.



    The Los Gatos mother was only convicted of one misdemeanor count in a high profile molestation case. (Published Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011)

    A Los Gatos mother received a mixed verdict in her molestation trial Thursday.

    In the case People vs. Sara Cole, the jury found Cole not guilty of two felony counts of unlawful sex with a minor. They found her guilty of a misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child.

    And the judge declared a mistrial on a third felony count that specifically charged Cole with having sexual intercourse.

    The verdicts will clearly be seen as a victory for the defense because Cole was not found guilty on any of the more serious felony counts.

    Cole is a Los Gatos mother accused of having sex with her teenage son's 16-year-old friend.

    The jury began deliberating Wednesday following a one week trial.

    Prosecutors tried to prove the alleged sexual relationship began in May 2010. During the trial the teenager at the center of the case told the jury that he had sex with Cole some 40 times.

    The jury also saw evidence that Cole exchanged 5,413 text messages and 863 phone conversations during a six month period.

    Cole's defense attorney said she was helping a troubled teen and said the teen was the one who sexually assaulted Cole.

    The trial isn’t the first time Cole has been in the public spotlight. She was struck by a drunk driver in September of 2007 and spent time in the hospital where she underwent at least four major surgeries. She received media coverage of her plight and was at one point asked by Los Gatos Police to speak out against drunken driving at a community event.

    The jury did not hear any Cole's personal story during the trial because the prosecution won a motion to exclude all details of the accident during pretrial motions.

    Cole faces a year in county jail for the one misdemeanor offense for which she was convicted. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 30.