Things were quiet at Louisiana’s Destrehan High School until a 16-year-old male student began bragging to his classmates about his sordid sexual affair with a teacher at the school. The school district reported the incident to local authorities, and that is when the small town hit the news in a big way.

First came the arrest of 34-year-old Shelley Dufresne, who was initially charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile after she allegedly had multiple sexual encounters with the young man at her home in Montz. She was released on $200,000 bond on September 30, but found herself back in hot water soon after. A second teacher, 24-year-old Rachel Respess, confessed to a separate encounter involving both Dufresne and same student.

Both teachers were then arrested on charges of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, indecent behavior with a juvenile, and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. They were released from jail on Thursday, October 2 after each posting $7000 cash bonds. Both are currently suspended without pay.

Meanwhile, the internet has blown up with conflicting opinions and lively arguments. Many seem to take a congratulatory stance regarding the male student, while others are appalled that there appears to be a double standard. They claim that had the genders been reversed, the case would be treated in a different manner.

When teachers break the trust that parents and students place in them, it is a gross violation. If you are concerned about potential sexual abuse in your child’s school, speak up—you could make a difference. If you have questions about how to proceed with reporting sexual abuse, click our live chat link to learn more.


Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney