Public may foot the bill on Dufresne lawsuit

Parents of 16-year-old are seeking damages in teacher-sex case

The parents of the 16-year-old male Destrehan High School student involved in an alleged threesome with former St. Charles Parish teachers Shelley Dufresne and Rachel Respess have filed a lawsuit in St. Charles Parish seeking damages.

New details have surfaced in a recently amended version of the suit filed in the 29th Judicial District Court accusing Dufresne of having sexual relations with her then student more than 40 times.

The student’s parents are seeking damages against Dufresne and Rachel Respess, both former DHS teachers and friends, and the St. Charles Parish School Board.

School system spokeswoman Stevie Crovetto said they do not comment on pending litigation.

The suit alleges Dufresne began flirting with the student in her English class in 2014-15 during classes and then sought him out when he was out of school due to illness to step up the relationship.

Dufresne contacted him on social media to see if he was feeling better and then continued contacting him on social media, fostering a closer relationship until she kissed him 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, leading him to believe 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.

On Aug. 22, 2014, the relationship became sexual.

The suit states the two had sex or other sexual relations “over 40 times” through Sept. 27, 2014.

Respess, who also taught the student, is accused of not reporting the relationship, as well as joining the abuse by having sex with the student and Dufresne at Respess’ apartment following a Destrehan High School football game.

The suit further alleges the School Board aided and abetted Dufresne and Respess’ inappropriate behavior, as well as other teacher-student sex scandals in the school system.

Since this case, two more teachers have been charged with inappropriate behavior with 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.


About Anna Thibodeaux 2071 Articles
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