Juvenile victim's name in teacher sex scandal put into public record

Juvenile victim's name in teacher sex scandal put into public record

A Criminal Court judge in St. Charles Parish has revealed the name, address and phone number of the juvenile victim in a case that drew national and even international attention.

Two Destrehan High School teachers, Shelley Dufresne and Rachel Respass, are accused of providing alcohol and having sex with a 16-year-old student. While both are booked on charges in Kenner, Dufresne is facing a carnal knowledge of a juvenile charge in St. Charles Parish.

“Just by the nature of the people involved in it, it's going to have a lot of attention,” said Joseph Raspanti.

Dufresne is the daughter of St. Charles Parish Criminal District Court Judge Emile St. Pierre. After St. Pierre recused himself from the case, the other two judges at Criminal Court did the same. Judge Michele Morel attached Dufresne's arrest report in her recusal order, clearly showing the victim's personal information.

“It's amazing to me," Raspanti said. "That is a very basic thing that everyone that practices law will tell you. The first day of law school, in the first criminal class, you learn this. I could understand why the DA is very disappointed, to say the least, by that action.”

District Attorney Joel Chaisson filed an order the next day to have the information redacted from the public record. The order was granted.

Chaisson released this statement:

"Our motion speaks for itself. My only comment is that I am extremely disappointed that this document, which identified the name, address and phone number of the juvenile victim in this case, was filed by Judge Morel into the public record. I am very appreciative of the fact that this was promptly brought to our attention by the Clerk's office so that we were able to quickly get an ORDER redacting all identifying information of the juvenile victim from the public record as required by law."

Morel released the following statement Tuesday evening:

"I want to thank our District Attorney for quickly identifying and redacting the name of a juvenile victim on papers filed by my office with the Clerk of Court. In following the protocol to recuse myself as judge on the case of a Destrehan teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student, our office filed all paperwork with the Clerk of Court in the same manner that we always do. While I accept responsibility for any oversight, we have trusted the Clerk of Court in the past to place under seal any and all sensitive information involving juveniles, and I expected this case to be handled the same as all others have been handled. I will investigate this matter further."

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.