An attorney for Lynda Chase has filed a memorandum arguing that the former Madison Central High School secretary serving a three-year prison sentence for having sex with a student is eligible for both probation and shock probation.
Chase, 37, is seeking shock probation from her three-year sentence for having sex with a 15-year-old student. But questions about her eligibility for probation were raised during a hearing last week because Chase is a Class D felony sex offender.
Chase's attorney, James Baechtold, said in his memorandum, which was filed on Monday, that Madison Circuit Court had granted shock probation in 2009 for a defendant who, like Chase, had been convicted of a Class D felony sex offense involving a minor.
"Obviously ... this disparity in treatment has raised serious concerns about whether the defendant's right to equal protection and substantive/procedural due process have been violated," Baechtold wrote.
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Chase pleaded guilty in August to one count of third-degree rape, and four counts of third-degree sodomy involving the student. She has been an inmate at the Kentucky State Women's Correctional Institute at Pewee Valley since Aug. 26.
Baechtold said in his memo that prosecutors had never questioned Chase's eligibility for shock probation during plea negotiations, during an in-chambers discussion with the judge or during hearing in court on Oct. 21. The memo also said the Office of Probation and Parole did not object to Chase receiving shock probation.
Baechtold wrote that it was not until three minutes before the Oct. 26 hearing that Madison Circuit Judge William Clouse was handed paperwork indicating prosecutors would say Chase was ineligible to receive shock probation. That was the first time that the court or prosecutors had raised the issue, he said.
In support of his memo, Baechtold included a copy of a November 2009 court order signed by Clouse, granting shock probation for Brandon Clay Rousey, who had been convicted of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities.
Baechtold is asking the court to rule that defendants who are convicted of Class D felonies under KRS Chapter 510, which covers a variety of charges that are sexual in nature, "are eligible for both probation and shock probation."