MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- A former Madison County Schools employee was scheduled to appear before a judge Wednesday morning. Authorities arrested Lyndsey Bates last month on charges related to having sex with one student and "sexting" another. Prosecutors say the two student victims are between the ages of 16 and 19.
22-year-old Lyndsey Bates did not appear in Judge Linda Coats' courtroom Wednesday, but her attorney Robert Tuten did. Tuten asked that his client's case be waived. Bates case will now be presented to a Madison County grand jury.
Lyndsey Bates will now have to wait for a grand jury to decide her fate.
"It'll take a few months for the indictment to come down. Once that does, we will have discovery given to the defense attorney and we will go from there," says Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit.
Bates faces charges that include a school employee distributing obscene material to a student, a school employee engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19, and a school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19.
"This is a sexual offense, it is a sexual registration offense. If she gets convicted she will have to register as a sex offender. As far as punishment goes its anywhere from two to twenty years in prison or on probation, anything in that range," says Douthit.
The sheriff's office confirmed Bates is related to Madison County Chief Deputy Stacy Bates by marriage. Prosecutors say that had no impact on the investigation and will have no impact on the prosecution.
"The sheriff's office handled this investigation with the appropriate zeal and vigor and kept Stacy Bates out of it. They ended up making an arrest for several felonies. It was an appropriate case and we are going to pursue it," says Douthit.
As prosecutor Tim Douthit said, if Bates is found guilty on those five charges, she will have to register as a sex offender and would not be allowed to teach in the state of Alabama.