Charges: Softball coach had inappropriate relationship with student

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Prosecutors say a 35-year-old Coon Rapids woman maintained an inappropriate relationship with a teenage student-athlete, including text discussion and an incident of sexual contact.

Jessica Mercedes Chase was charged Wednesday in Hennepin County with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

According to the charges, Chase texted a 17-year-old student about "kissing, cuddling and touching," talked about touching the girl's buttocks, and admitted to kissing the teen and touching her inner thigh area.

There were also references to Chase visiting the girl's parents' Maple Grove home, the complaint says.

The relationship started in June and ended later the next month, according to the charges, and Maple Grove police learned about the possibility of a relationship between the two in late July.

Chase, who KSTP says served as an assistant softball coach and math teacher at Maple Grove Senior High until July 28, told authorities she knew the victim for more than a year and a half. During that time, Chase tutored the teenager, the complaint says, and directly coached her for one week during a sports season.

She previously taught math at Wayzata High School as well.

Chase has recently served as a private softball instructor, according to her website (which is down as of Thursday morning). Her college athletics career at Southwest Texas State University includes numerous honors and records, according to the about section, noting she now lives in Coon Rapids with two cats and a dog.

A conviction carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, up to a $20,000 fine, or both, according to statutes.

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