DOCUMENT: Sex, Crime

Cops: Teachers Had Threesome With Student, 16

Female Louisiana educators facing felony raps

OCTOBER 1--Two English teachers at a Louisiana high school are facing felony charges for allegedly having sexual relations with the same 16-year-old male student whose recent “bragging” to other pupils prompted a criminal investigation targeting the female educators.

Police yesterday arrested Shelley Dufresne, 32, for having "inappropriate sexual contact" with the boy, who is a junior at Destrehan High School in St. Charles, a parish about 25 miles west of New Orleans.

Dufresne is the victim's English teacher, cops report.

Dufresne, who has taught English at the school for ten years, was released from jail last night on $200,000 bond. Pictured above, Dufresne, who is married with three children, was placed on house arrest.

Investigators allege that Dufresne had sex with the teenager earlier this month in a residence in Montz (where Dufresne lives). Sheriff’s investigators first learned of the alleged incident last week, when school officials reported that “a male student was bragging to other students that he was having a sexual relationship with teachers.”

Dufresne and another Destrehan High School teacher, Rachel Respess, have been charged in a separate jurisdiction with jointly having sexual contact with the minor. The educators have been accused by police of an illicit sexual tryst this month in Kenner, a city in Jefferson Parish (which neighbors St. Charles Parish).

Respess turned herself in to Kenner police this morning on a felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile count. She was also charged with indecent behavior and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Respess was the victim's English teacher last year.

Kenner police charged Dufresne with the same three counts as Respess. Investigators allege that the threesome at Respess’s apartment began on the evening of September 12 and continued into the following morning (Dufresne turned 32 on September 12).

During a press conference this afternoon, police Chief Michael Glasser said that Respess provided cops with details of the encounter in her home, but “stopped short of a total confession.” He added that investigators are seeking additional evidence, an apparent reference to photos that were reportedly taken during the sex session.   

Like Dufresne, the 24-year-old Respess is a Louisiana State University graduate. She has taught English at Destrehan High School for two years. In a recent letter to parents, Respess (seen above) stated that her goal was to provide students with a “nurturing and organized environment to prevent distraction and promote learning.”

In a since-deleted biography on the school’s web site, Dufresne wrote that, “I take my job and my students' education seriously and try my best to help all of my students be successful.” She added, “I hope that all of my students have a great experience in my classroom and leave with the tools they need to be successful throughout the rest of their high school careers and in life.”

Dufresne and Respess have been suspended from their teaching posts in light of the criminal charges lodged against them. (2 pages)