LONDON — Two former South Laurel High School personnel facing sexual charges against underage minors had their day in court on Thursday.
Jonathan Lee Walker, 32, of Hazard, Kentucky, was set for trial on April 14. That date was set after Walker's attorney, Conrad Cessna, told Laurel Circuit Judge Michael Caperton that he believed the jury trial would take two days to complete. Should Walker agree to plead in the case, his final pretrial date was set for April 2.
Walker is charged with first-degree sexual abuse from an incident on Nov. 2, 2018, in which he is accused of subjecting a then 16-year-old to sexual contact. At that time, Walker was the head basketball coach of the SLHS Lady Cardinals.
Walker was discharged from that position immediately after the allegations came to light. He was indicted by a Laurel grand jury in February 2019. He posted bond in his case and has remained free since that time.
Former choral director, Mark Felts, 55, of Corbin, also appeared before Judge Caperton to answer charges of first-degree sex abuse and third-degree sodomy. Felts is accused of subjecting a minor to sexual contact over a period from March 2015 when the child was 14 years old to February 2017 when the child was nearly 17 years old.
He is also accused of third-degree sodomy involving a minor child in the spring of 2017. The indictment does not list a birthdate of the victim in that case, but does state that the child was under 18 years of age.
Felts' attorney, David Hoskins, asked for more time to prepare for Felts' case before setting a trial date. Caperton then set another pretrial conference for Feb. 13.
Felts posted a cash bond after the indictment against him was returned in October 2019. He abruptly retired from his teaching position at SLHS in February of last year.