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Article updated: 2/26/2013 5:03 PM

Judge says no video testimony from Cardamone's mom

By Josh Stockinger

A judge has denied prosecutors' request for video testimony from an ailing Aurora gym owner accused of forging her son's work schedule to bolster his defense against abuse charges.

DuPage County Judge Robert Kleeman made the ruling Tuesday after a defense attorney said Linda Lynch plans to appear for her April 23 trial, despite health issues that previously kept her from attending court.

"She's ready to go to trial," defense attorney Randy Rueckert said.

Lynch, 62, of Oswego, is the mother of former gymnastics instructor Michael Cardamone, who pleaded guilty in November to battering or restraining 14 young gymnasts.

For more than a decade, authorities had accused Cardamone of sexually abusing the girls during training exercises at his family's gym. Cardamone insisted he "never sexually abused anyone" after entering into the plea bargain, which specified his acts weren't sexually motivated but involved improper touching.

Prosecutors sought to preserve Lynch's testimony with a videotaped deposition after "numerous representations" were made that she was "gravely ill, unable to attend court proceedings, and not likely to recover," according to their motion.

Lynch has been fighting heart problems, her family said. On Tuesday, she entered court in a wheelchair but stood at the bench with an oxygen tank at her side during the hearing.

Kleeman said he was "hesitant" to force Lynch to be deposed before trial but would reconsider his ruling if it turns out she's unlikely to attend.

Prosecutors said they would have used Lynch's testimony at the trial of her co-defendant and office manager Andrea Arndt, 38, of Montgomery. None of the testimony would have been used against Lynch, who is scheduled to stand trial at the same time as Arndt, according to prosecutors.

Lynch and Arndt face felony forgery charges and are due back in court April 10. They both deny any wrongdoing.

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