Madison secretary facing sex charges violated judge's order

Madison central employee violated order

gkocher1@herald-leader.comMarch 29, 2011 

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

A Madison Central High School employee accused of having sex with a male student was taken to jail Monday afternoon after she contacted the boy in violation of a district judge's order.

The boy's mother found on Friday a March 21 Facebook message to the boy from the secretary, Lynda Chase, said Jennifer Smith, assistant commonwealth's attorney for Madison County. The mother then contacted the commonwealth's attorney's office, Smith said.

Chase admitted to sending the boy the message, Smith said.

Such contact was expressly prohibited by a district judge on March 2, when the case was sent to a grand jury. Earlier this month, the grand jury indicted Chase, 37, on one count of third-degree rape and four counts of third-degree sodomy. The allegations involve sexual intercourse and oral sex with the 15-year-old boy.

After about a 15-minute hearing on Monday afternoon, Madison Circuit Judge William Clouse directed Chase to go to jail, Smith said.

Chase has been suspended as the secretary in charge of attendance at Madison Central, where she worked for at least 10 years. She also kept statistics for the boys' basketball teams.

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.

When she was initially charged in February, Chase was released on her own recognizance because the crimes she is accused of are not violent. A deputy jailer told the Herald-Leader at the time that inmates in wheelchairs must be isolated and cannot be placed in a cell with other inmates because "they could craft weapons out of" the wheelchairs.

But during the hearing in Madison Circuit Court, Jailer Doug Thomas said the jail would be able to accommodate Chase, Jennifer Smith said.

"I had Doug Thomas in court today to say he absolutely could house her," Smith said.

James Baechtold, Chase's attorney, admitted in court Monday that Chase sent a post to the boy's Facebook page that said "I wish I could talk to you."

"We admitted that that constituted a violation" of the district judge's order, Baechtold said.

Chase is in jail in lieu of a $25,000 full cash bond.

Chase is scheduled to be arraigned April 14 in Madison Circuit Court.

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