Madison County

School secretary charged in sex case does not appear for court hearing

Lynda Chase, the Madison Central High School secretary accused of felony counts involving sex with a 15-year-old student, did not appear in court Thursday to accept a plea agreement as had been anticipated.

Instead, Madison Circuit Court Judge William Clouse admonished attorneys not to speak about the case outside the courtroom. Clouse rescheduled the next hearing for May 26.

Afterward, defense attorney James Baechtold, who had indicated that a plea agreement would be accepted Thursday, declined to say why the matter was delayed and cited the judge's "gag order."

"We can't talk about it," Baechtold said.

Chase, 37, was indicted in March on one count of third-degree rape and four counts of third-degree sodomy. The allegations involve sexual intercourse and oral sex with the boy.

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