New details surface in lawsuit against Dufresne, School Board

New details have surfaced against former St. Charles Parish teacher Shelley Dufresne accusing her of having sexual relations with her then 16-year-old student more than 40 times.

The Destrehan High School student and his parents, identified by their initials (CP Jr., CP and DP) in a lawsuit filed Aug. 11, 2015 in the 29th Judicial District Court in St. Charles Parish are seeking damages against Dufresne, Respess and the St. Charles Parish School Board.

The suit was amended in February further detailing allegations in the case.

Spokeswoman Stevie Crovetto said the School System does not comment on pending litigation.

The suit alleges Dufresne began flirting with her student, who was assigned to her English class in 2014-15, during classes. Her actions escalated to “flirtatious behavior” to where she allegedly sought him out when he was absent from school due to illness. She allegedly contacted him on social media to see if he was feeling better and then continued contacting him regularly on social media, fostering a closer relationship with him until “she kissed CP Jr. in her classroom during school hours” during the week of Aug. 18 and/or Aug. 25, 2014.

Dufresne also is accused of showing him favoritism over other students, encouraging him to believe that responding to her sexual advances would improve his grade. She’s also accused of offering him to bring him from football practices at DHS and from football games to further their relationship.

On Aug. 22, 2014, the relationship became sexual, according to the lawsuit. From Aug. 22, 2014 through Sept. 27, 2014, it states the two had sex “over 40 times” and other sexual relations.

Respess is accused of knowing about the sexual relationship and offered her apartment to the two to have sex. Instead of reporting the incident to authorities, she is accused of joining “the abuse by having sex with CP Jr. and Ms. Dufresne in her apartment following a Destrehan High School football game.”

Respess also taught the student a prior school year.

When the relationship became known, Dufresne allegedly made disparaging comments about CP Jr. on social media, which the lawsuit alleges humiliated and embarrassed him.

“She demonstrated no remorse for her inappropriate sexual contact with a minor student,” according to the lawsuit. “

The St. Charles Parish School Board is accused of aiding and abetting Dufresne and Respess’ inappropriate behavior with the student, as well as other teacher-student sex scandals in the school system. The School Board also is accused of failing to “take adequate and effective measures to prevent future abuse and protect students.”

The School Board recently adopted stricter policies dealing with sexual harassment of students, child abuse, electronic communication between employees and students, and bullying and harassment.

In April of last year, Dufresne pleaded guilty to one felony count of obscenity and admitted to having the sexual relationship with her student. She was given a deferred three-year prison sentence, which means if she violates her three-year probation she serves the jail sentence.

In January, Kimberly Naquin, also a DHS teacher and daughter of St. Charles Parish School Board President Dennis Naquin, was charged with inappropriate behavior with her then 16-year-old female student to Kenner Police. She confessed to temporarily breaking off the relationship temporarily because she thought police were coming for her when they were instead arresting Dufresne and Respess. She resumed the relationship.

By March, Jeremy Eusea, an athletic trainer and educator at Hahnville High School, was charged with sexual battery and prohibited sexual conduct with a then 17-year-old female student. In the same week of his arrest, Eusea was arrested again and charged with sexting a 16-year-old female student from 2010 to 2011.

According to the lawsuit, the students’ parent were unaware of this inappropriate conduct until DHS Principal Stephen Weber confronted the student about it and forced him to telephone his father to “inform him of the sexual abuse he had endured” that subjected him to “further embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish and emotional distress.”

 

About Anna Thibodeaux 2071 Articles
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