New allegation made; former teacher faces 127 sex-abuse charges

WASHINGTON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - A former Mt. Hermon special education teacher now faces 127 criminal counts involving sexual abuse of children.

Investigators disclosed new allegations Monday against 45-year-old Murray "Joey" Duncan. Duncan was previously arrested by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office for numerous crimes related to his role as a teacher and a church volunteer. The charges stemmed from alleged sexual contact with seven different victims.

In late May, Sheriff's Office investigators received a disclosure from another child who claims to have been sexually abused by Duncan inside a school classroom. Forensic interviews conducted by the Sheriff's Office and the Bogalusa Children's Advocacy Center disclosed that "Mr. Joey" kept the student in the classroom one day while allowing all the other students to go to gym class.

"[Duncan] kept this one young man inside the classroom, he fondled him, molested him," said Chief Deputy Mike Haley with the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office.

The latest incident is the only one involving alleged abuse at the Mt. Herman School. All of the other cases were associated with church events where Duncan was a volunteer. The student's account is similar to accounts from other boys around the same age where Duncan is alleged to have touched their "private" areas, police said.

"We suspect that there are more victims out there," Haley said. "The key is going to be whether those other victims do come forward, but typically in cases like this, when you take the number of cases that are reported, there are always many other cases that are not reported for one reason or the other."

Duncan was brought to the Washington Parish Jail Tuesday and booked on one new charge of molestation of a juvenile. Bond was set at $30,000 on this charge.

Duncan was returned to the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for housing.

Officials say Duncan now faces 127 criminal counts, including:

  • 117 child pornography
  • 6 video voyeurism
  • 1 aggravated incest
  • 2 molestation of a juvenile (East Baton Rouge Parish)
  • 1 molestation of a juvenile (Washington Park)

Washington Parish officials encourage parents who believe their children may have been in contact with Duncan to contact the Sheriff's Office.

A warrant has been obtained for the arrest of Duncan on the new charge of molestation of a juvenile. Deputy Mike Haley said Duncan is now facing "well over 100 counts," and that all of the victims are from Washington Parish.

Duncan will be brought back to Washington Parish from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, arrested and booked on the new charge, and then returned to Baton Rouge.

Haley said East Baton Rouge Parish is involved because two of the incidents happened at the Baton Rouge Zoo during a church field trip.

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