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Ex-Miss Kentucky gets prison time for pressing teen to swap nude photos

Ramsey BethAnn Bearse is shown in this mugshot photo from 2018.
Ramsey BethAnn Bearse is shown in this mugshot photo from 2018. Kanawha County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

A former Kentucky beauty queen and teacher has been sentenced to two years in prison for soliciting nude photos from a teenage student over Snapchat, a West Virginia court ruled on Tuesday.

Ramsey BethAnn Bearse, 29, was also sentenced to 10 years of supervised release. She will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life, the assistant prosecutor said in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Bearse pleaded guilty last December to one count of possessing material depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct.

She told the court at the time that she meant to send a risque photo to her husband but accidentally sent it to the victim, 15, over Snapchat. She claimed that the student asked for more photos so she complied because she was “afraid to not appease him.”

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She was initially charged with four counts of sending obscene material to a minor in connection with the incident, which played out between August and October of 2018. Bearse was working as a middle school teacher in Cross Lanes, W.Va., at the time.

The boy, 15, was a former student of hers. One of his parents found topless photos of Bearse on his phone and informed police, according to reports.

“Since I am the adult, and he was just a teenager, it is my fault, and I accept full blame for the situation,” she said at the time of her guilty plea. “That’s how I’m guilty of this crime. I messed up big time.”

The sentence was handed down almost exactly six years after Bearse won the Miss Kentucky beauty pageant on July 12, 2014. She went by her birth name, Ramsey Carpenter, at the time. She competed in the Miss America pageant later that year.

Ramsey Carpenter showcases her violin skills during the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 10, 2014.
Ramsey Carpenter showcases her violin skills during the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 10, 2014. Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Bearse was suspended from her teaching job after the charges were announced, and the school says she no longer works there.

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Bearse must report to jail by Monday morning.

—With files from The Associated Press