A former Miss Kentucky beauty queen has admitted to sending nude photos of herself to a 15-year-old — and now faces up to two years in prison for her crime.
“Since I am the adult, and he was just a teenager, it is my fault, and I accept full blame for the situation,” Ramsey Carpenter-Bearse, 29, said in court on Tuesday while pleading guilty to a charge of possessing material depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct, WOWK-TV reports. “So that’s how I’m guilty of this crime. I messed up big-time.”
Carpenter-Bearse was crowned Miss Kentucky in 2014. After her reign, she began working as a teacher in West Virginia. According to a 2018 press release issued by the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, Carpenter-Bearse was charged last year with distributing obscene materials to a minor.
“Mrs. Bearse sent obscene photographs of herself to a 15-year-old who was a former student of hers at Andrew Jackson Middle School,” the release reads. “She is currently suspended from her teaching position.”
According to a criminal complaint first obtained by the Associated Press, the student’s parents informed authorities that they had found lewd pictures on the boy’s phone. The pictures, which were allegedly sent via Snapchat, had been saved to the phone’s camera roll.
Under her maiden name of Carpenter, Carpenter-Bearse won the Miss Kentucky pageant after she impressed judges by playing the fiddle. In 2015, she placed in the top twelve of the national Miss America pageant.
Carpenter-Bearse had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2010. As part of her platform, she said that she wanted to raise awareness and research funds for the illness. During her reign as Miss Kentucky, she served as a spokeswoman for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
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She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts degree in special education with a focus on learning and behavior disorders.
In court on Tuesday, Carpenter-Bearse said that she sent nude photos to the teen, and when the student asked for more, she did so because “I was afraid not to appease him.”
PEOPLE confirms that Carpenter-Bearse is out of custody on bond. She is scheduled for sentencing in January.
Carpenter-Bearse faces up to two years in prison, as well as a probation term of up to 50 years. She could also be ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.