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Jones arraigned on revised charge

A Rock Hill High School band director accused of improper conduct with two students was arraigned on a revised charge Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Scott Jones, 37, of 27 Private Drive 963 County Road 181, Ironton, appeared with his attorney, Randall Lambert, before Judge Charles Cooper.

Jones pleaded not guilty to the single count of sexual battery. This charge replaces one that was dismissed last month. In the first indictment, handed down in June, there was a clerical error in one of the two charges involving one of two alleged victims.

One was named twice in one place instead of each alleged victim being named in that portion of the indictment. The charge with the error was dismissed and replaced with the new indictment handed down in July.

Cooper joined the two indictments and set a Sept. 10 pretrial conference, giving both sides nearly a month to prepare the next step in their cases.

“I understand there is some discovery (exchange of information) going on and this may take some time,” Cooper said.

Some family and friends of both Jones and his alleged victims were in the courtroom for the arraignment.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in prison on each charge, a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to three years of probation after he is released. He is free on bond pending the outcome of his case. He is on leave from the school district.

Jones was arrested in May after two female students accused him of sexual misconduct. The alleged incidents took place between Dec. 1, 2007 and April 21, 2008. Authorities said the incidents took place during and after school on school grounds.

Also Wednesday, Franklin Justice, 60, of 50 Township Road 322, Ironton, was arraigned on a six-count indictment alleging aggravated trafficking in drugs. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, D.L. McWhorter. Judge D. Scott Bowling set bond at $75,000 cash bond and ordered Justice to return to court Aug. 27 for a pretrial conference.

Bobby Dement, 33, of 366 Township Road 88, Proctorville, was arraigned on one count of grand theft. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Michael Gleichauf. Bowling allowed bond set in Lawrence County Municipal Court to be transferred.