Outside judge might be needed for Destrehan teacher sex case

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Shelley S. Dufresne and Rachel Respess are both accused of having sex with a Destrehan High School student.

Shelley S. Dufresne and Rachel Respess are both accused of having sex with a Destrehan High School student.

KENNER, La. (WGNO) – One of the two teachers in the alleged Destrehan sex scandal happens to be the daughter of a local judge. 32-year-old Shelley Dufresne is not only married with three young children, her father, Emile St. Pierre, is one of only three judges in St. Charles Parish. Judge Lauren Lemmon has already recused herself leaving all eyes on Judge Michele Morel. If Morel steps aside, then the Supreme Court would appoint an outside judge.

Defense attorney Stephen Rue believes Dufresne can have a fair trial in St. Charles Parish even though most have probably heard about the allegations. He says that these teachers are women will help the two down the line if the case does in fact go to trial.

When asked if Rue, as a criminal defense attorney, preferred his clients to be two female teachers or two male teachers, he answered, "1,000% female." When asked why Rue says, "There's a double standard in life. They're going to be looked at in a different way. I think that men in general, and also by race frankly are looked at differently than white females."

According to authorities the student says the encounters were consensual, yet because he is a minor he cannot legally consent. As far as the alleged relationship the student would not be facing charges, but Attorney Stephen Rue says he could be held responsible if he's deleted video evidence that investigators are now searching for.

Earlier this week Kenner police released mug shots and additional details on a sex scandal involving two Destrehan High School English teachers and a student.

Jefferson Parish authorities said both teachers, Shelley S. Dufresne, 32, and Rachel Respess, 24, are facing felony charges of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and indecent behavior with a juvenile.

According to Kenner Police Chief Michael Glaser, the two teachers met with a Destrehan High student after a football game on September 12th, then drove to Respess's Kenner apartment where the three had sex simultaneously until the early morning hours of the 13th.

"You have an educator, I guess, the responsibility is the safety and education of the children and when it goes outside those lines I believe the community should be outraged," Chief Glaser said at a press conference Wednesday.

The student, who authorities say is a junior at Destrehan High, is now 17, but was 16 when the alleged relationships began. Former students told WGNO the student and both teachers had been involved for some time, meeting for sex multiple times and documenting some of their encounters on video.

"This Rachel Respess was an English teacher of the victim last school year, so she did have some type of contact and knew him. Shelley Dufresne is his current teacher," Glaser explained.

For Shelley Dufresne this is her second trip to jail in one week. She is also facing charges out of St. Charles Parish where authorities believe the relationship continued.

According to Dufresne's Destrehan High profile, she is a Louisiana State University and Destrehan High alum, graduating from DHS in 2000. She is currently in her tenth year as a teacher, is married with three young children, and is the daughter of St. Charles Parish Judge Emile St. Pierre.

Rachel Respess's profile revealed she began her second year at DHS and is also an LSU and Destrehan High alum, graduating high school in 2008.

Chief Glaser said the alleged acts are unfortunate, but not surprising.

"Nothing surprises me anymore really, but I do believe its lack of a better judgment. They should have known better," he said.

Glaser also addressed the double standards surrounding the case, saying either way the crime is sickening.

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