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Jury To Consider Fate Of Counselor Accused Of Molesting Girls

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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - A jury is expected to begin deliberations Thursday in the trial of a former Coral Springs after-school counselor accused of molesting several young girls.

Closing arguments got underway in the morning in the case of Michael Jones, 25, who worked for a company that provided aftercare for students at Forest Hills Elementary.

Jones has denied all of the charges.

Coral Springs police arrested Jones in 2011. During questioning, prosecutors say he initially denied the accusations but eventually confessed to molesting the girls, telling the detective that "he made a mistake."

The recorded interview was played for the jury on Wednesday. At one point an officer asked Jones, "How did her pants get down?"

"I asked her to pull them down," he said. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that."

Later, when Jones took the stand in his own defense, he said tried to refute the charges and his own alleged confession.

When asked if he had ever touched any of the girls inappropriately, Jones replied "no" each time. He said he never even picked up any of the children because it wouldn't have been right in the course of his duties.

His attorney asked Jones to explain to the jury why he didn't deny the allegations during the Coral Springs police interrogation.

"Because he said if I deny it, I have a chance of being labeled a pedophile," he said.

Jones could go to prison for the rest of his life if he's convicted because one of the girls was only 8 years old at the time he allegedly molested her.


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