A Hollywood makeup artist and wife of a former Bengals player was arrested Monday on charges she had sexual contact with a high school student during parties at her Villa Hills home.
Jeni Lee Dinkel, 51, pleaded not guilty Monday to one count each of third-degree rape and third-degree sodomy after turning herself in to authorities. The Class D felonies each carry a penalty of one to five years in prison.
Dinkel represents Arbonne International cosmetics company and has been the makeup artist for 19 Hollywood films, including the Academy Award-winning "Forrest Gump" and "The Shawshank Redemption," according to her Web site. She is the wife of Tom Dinkel, who was a Bengals linebacker from 1978 to 1985. Her court file indicates that she has no prior criminal record.
Dinkel’s accuser attends Covington Catholic High School with Dinkel’s teenage son, authorities said.
"The investigation resulted from allegations that surfaced after officers had responded to the suspect’s residence back in October for a loud party call," Villa Hills Detective Joe Schutzman said in a statement released Monday. "There were allegations that the suspect was providing alcoholic beverages to minors."
Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said witnesses told police that Jeni Lee Dinkel was present on at least one occasion when police responded to complaints about underage drinking at her home.
"When police investigated these parties, they started hearing rumors about sexual contact between Mrs. Dinkel and an underage male," Sanders said.
March 22, a teenage boy told the Children’s Advocacy Center that Dinkel had repeatedly engaged in sexual contact with him at her home during a four-month span in 2006, according to court records.
The boy, who was 15 at the time of the alleged incidents, told authorities that another juvenile had "walked in … and witnessed one sexual encounter," according to court records. The juvenile witness later confirmed the boy’s account, authorities said.
"The investigation’s still ongoing," Sanders said.
Dinkel was arraigned Monday in Kenton District Court. She was taken into custody and released minutes later, after posting $2,500, or 10 percent, of a $25,000 bond, authorities said. She remains free but cannot have contact with her accuser or unrelated juveniles.
Her next scheduled court appearance is May 15.
A woman who answered the phone at the Dinkel home Monday afternoon identified herself as Jeni Lee Dinkel and referred all comments to attorney Bill Pitzer, who could not be reached for comment. A call to Mrs. Dinkel’s agent at the Celestine Agency in Santa Monica, Calif., was not returned.
Attorney Rene Heinrich, who represents the family of the teen who told his story to a licensed professional last month, said her client and his family are seeking treatment.
"Just because the case involves (an alleged perpetrator who’s) a female and a male doesn’t mean it’s not sexual abuse," Heinrich, of Donovan Law, said. "This is very traumatic for a child whether it’s male on female or female on male. This is very difficult on the victim and his family."