Second Destrehan teacher faces charges after being accused of having sex with student
Shelley Dufresne (left) and Rachel Respess
English teacher Shelley Dufresne, 33, of 805 Country Cottage Blvd. in Montz, was charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Fellow English teacher Rachel Respess, 23, of Kenner, faces the same charges.
Dufresne is married with three children and has been teaching at DHS for 10 years. Respess graduated from Destrehan in 2008 and has been teaching at the school for two years.
The student is 17 years old now, but was 16 at the time the alleged crime took place. The student bragged to classmates about having sex with two teachers, which resulted in a St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office investigation at Destrehan on Friday, Sept. 26.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the first crime took place in the early part of September in Montz.
A second incident allegedly took place in Kenner after the Destrehan versus Helen Cox football game on Friday, Sept. 12. Kenner Police Chief Michael Glaser said both teachers are accused of having sex with the student in Respess' home on West Esplanade Avenue that night.
He said that Respess was the student's English teacher last year, while Dufresne taught the student English this year.
St. Charles Parish School Board member Al Suffrin said the situation is troubling.
“It gives the district a black eye. It is obviously something we don’t like to see happen because it is a distraction. It gets in the way of what our core business is.,” he said.
Suffrin said the school district has overcome such situations before, but it makes the job of all educators more difficult when such issues arise.
“Generally speaking we have enough challenges as it is. We didn’t need something like this to happen to add to the challenges we already have. It is a difficult enough task,” he said. “When something like this happens it is more than just a bump in road. We work so hard to make strides and progress and something like this is a setback.
“We’ve had other challenges we’ve faced and overcome.”
Dufresne was first arrested for carnal knowledge of a juvenile on Tuesday in St. Charles Parish. She was released after posting bond, but was rebooked with additional charges on Wednesday in Kenner.
Both teachers have been suspended without pay, according to Stevie Crovetto, public information director for St. Charles Parish Public Schools.
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