Two former school employees now charged with inappropriate conduct with students made an appearance in Laurel Circuit Court last week.

Jonathan Walker, 31, of Moore Street in Hazard, Kentucky, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse and was indicted February on that charge. The indictment states that around November 2, 2018, Walker subjected a 16-year-old to sexual contact and that Walker was "a person in a position of authority or position of special trust" when the incident took place.

Walker was the girls basketball coach at South Laurel High School when the incident took place, according to information in the case. In May, Walker and his attorney, Conrad Cessna, appeared in circuit court with Cessna stating during that hearing that there were two offers for a plea agreement in the case.

However, court documents show that Walker's case is still ongoing with an appearance before Circuit Judge Greg Lay on Nov. 7. Walker is now scheduled for his final pretrial hearing on Jan. 9, 2020 with a trial date set for Feb. 12.

Another former SLHS staff was also scheduled for a hearing on Nov. 7.

Mark A. Felts, 54, of Corbin, was indicted for one count of third-degree sodomy in August, stemming from an incident taking place in the summer of 2017. In October, that indictment was superseded with more charges but involving a different teen.

That indictment charges Felts with six counts of first-degree sexual abuse with a 15-year-old that occurred between March 2015 into the spring of 2017. In that indictment, Felts was also termed as "a person in a position of authority or position of special trust."

Felts was, in fact, the choral director at South Laurel High School for many years and retired abruptly at the end of February.

After his indictment in August, Felts turned himself in to authorities and posted a $25,000 cash bond.

The new indictment continued under the same bond, with Felts remaining free. His next pretrial conference is set for January 9.

Also appearing in court on Nov. 7 were four people involved with a 2018 murder.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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