Monday, May 11, 2009

AL: Former teacher indicted on sex abuse charges

By Tom SmithSenior Staff Writer
Published: Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 3:30 a.m. Last Modified: Friday, May 8, 2009 at 9:50 p.m.

MOULTON - A former Speake High School football coach faces a sex abuse charge involving a 16-year-old girl, officials said.

Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell said Jason Lyn Gasque, 31, 2120 Berry Circle, Florence, was indicted on a first-degree sexual abuse charge, which is a felony.

Gasque, who also taught math, is accused of having inappropriate contact with a student. He was arrested in mid-January.

At the time of his arrest, investigators said the girl reported being sexually abused twice within a two-month period. She said both incidents happened after school and on campus.

Mitchell said his office was notified of the accusation and immediately opened an investigation.

"Our investigators looked into the allegations and quickly received information and evidence that supported the offense had occurred," Mitchell said.

Investigators said Gasque is accused of keeping the student after school, where he made advances toward her and touched her inappropriately.

Mitchell said the teenager was in Gasque's math class.

Authorities said Gasque was in his first year as a teacher and coach at Speake, on Alabama 157, southeast of Moulton.

Gasque was also an assistant football coach and head baseball coach, school officials said.

They say Gasque remains on administrative leave with pay, pending conclusion of the investigation.

District Attorney Jim Osborn said a trial has not been set, but would likely be later this year.

First-degree sexual abuse is a Class C felony and carries a possible prison sentence of one to 10 years. Anyone convicted of the charge must also register as a sex offender.

Gasque, who formerly coached in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., has been released from the Lawrence County jail on bail totaling $5,000.

Tom Smith can be reached at 740-5757 or

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