Former Miss Kentucky admits to trading sexual photos with teen
Charleston, W.Va. — A former Miss Kentucky who worked as a teacher in West Virginia has admitted to exchanging sexual photos with a 15-year-old student. CBS affiliate WOWK-TV reports., 29, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of possessing material depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct,
She told the court that she made a mistake when talking with the teen on Snapchat last year. Authorities say she and the student exchanged photos between August and October 2018.
One of the student’s parents then found lewd photos of Bearse on the student’s phone, according to a criminal complaint. She was arrested in December 2018.
Bearse, who was crowned Miss Kentucky in 2014 under her maiden name of Carpenter, meant to send a risque photo to her husband, but accidentally sent it to the teen, she told the court. She claimed the student asked for additional photos and so she continued to send them because “I was afraid to not appease him.”
“Since I am the adult, and he was just a teenager, it is my fault, and I accept full blame for the situation,” Bearse said. “So that’s how I’m guilty of this crime. I messed up big-time.”
Bearse faces up to two years in prison when sentenced in January, in addition to the possibility of being ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life and being on probation for up to 50 years after her release. She’s currently out of custody on bond.
Bearse is not the only former Miss Kentucky to be arrested. In 2017, a grand jury indicted 28-year-old Kia Hampton for smuggling marijuana into an Ohio prison for an inmate.