Former teachers formally charged in student-sex case

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GRETNA, La. (AP) — Two former high school teachers accused in a sex case involving a 16-year-old student have been formally charged.

The Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office charged 33-year-old Shelley Dufresne on Monday with two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, while 25-year-old Rachel Respess faces one count of failure to report the commission of certain felonies, The Advocate ( reports.

The charges against Dufresne carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine, while Respess' charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $500 fine.

Respess was arrested with Dufresne in September 2014 after being accused of inviting a student to Respess' apartment for a sexual encounter. Dufresne was also arrested in St. Charles Parish after being accused of having sex with the student on separate occasions at the apartment.

Respess' attorney, Jeffery Smith, said Monday that Respess will plead not guilty.

Smith had said Respess was intoxicated in her home when Dufresne and the teenager showed up. He added that Respess "never entered into consensual sex with this young man."

Earlier this year, Dufresne agreed to a plea deal that will allow her to avoid prison time in St. Charles Parish or having to register as a sex offender. Her attorney could not be reached by the newspaper for comment.


Information from: The Advocate,

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