Madison High secretary accused of sex with teen pleads not guilty

kward1@herald-leader.comFebruary 21, 2011 

Lynda Chase, 37, of Richmond, is alleged to have had unlawful sexual contact with a person under the age of sixteen.

A high school secretary accused of having sex with a 15-year-old male student entered a not guilty plea at her arraignment in Madison District Court on Monday.

Lynda Chase, 37, was charged Wednesday with one count of third-degree rape and four counts of third-degree sodomy, Class D felonies. Each count is punishable by one to five years in prison. The allegations involve sexual intercourse and oral sex, state police have said.

Chase has been released on her own recognizance, said her attorney, James Baechtold, in part because the alleged crimes were not violent and because the Madison County Detention Center is not equipped to house people with handicaps such as hers.

Chase uses a wheelchair because she was paralyzed in a car crash that killed her father and a sister when she was 5 years old, Baechtold said.

He said Chase has been ordered by the court not to have contact with Madison Central High School students or any juveniles between ages 15 and 18.

Chase is the secretary in charge of attendance at Madison Central, where she has worked for at least 10 years, he said. Baechtold said Chase also kept the statistics for the school's boys' basketball teams.

Chase has been suspended but is still employed by the school system, a schools spokeswoman said last week.