Former Teachers Accused in Sex Case with Student, 16, Charged Year After Arrest

Former Teachers Accused in Sex Case with Student, 16, Charged Year After Arrest (L to R) Rachel Respess and Shelley Dufresne are accused in a sex case involving 16-year-old student (Kenner Police)

Two former Louisiana high school teachers accused in a sex case involving 16-year-old student have been formally charged more than a year after their arrest.

The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office charged Shelley Dufresne, 33, with two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and 25-year-old Rachel Respess with one count of failure to report the commission of certain felonies, according to reports.

If convicted, the charges against Dufresne carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

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If convicted, the charge against Respess carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $500 fine.

The former Destrehan High School teachers were previously accused by authorities of having group sex with the teenager, but the charges brought against the pair on Monday did not accuse Respess of a sex crime, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

"They are not alleging she had sex with a juvenile. We will at this point plead not guilty and see what happens down the road," Jeffrey Smith, Respess' attorney, told the paper.

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Dufresne and Respess were arrested in September 2014 after being accused of inviting a student to Respess’ apartment to have a sexual encounter.

Dufresne pleaded guilty in April to an obscenity charge stemming from her alleged month-long sexual relationship with the boy, the Times Picayune wrote.

She was sentenced to a deferred three-year prison sentence, three years’ probation, $1,000 fine and 90-day in-patient mental health impairment, the paper reported.

It was not immediately clear if she had entered a plea on the new charges.  

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