GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - The attorney for Rachel Respass spent just a few minutes in commissioner's court Monday morning without his client present.
The former Destrahan High School teacher didn't have to appear at Monday's status hearing and her attorney Jeffrey Smith says there is no disposition to report. Respass has not yet been charged by the district attorney's office following her arrest by Kenner police for carnal knowledge, indecent behavior, and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
Respess and her former coworker Shelley Dufresne are both accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student. Because the DA's office has not filed formal charges, Respess could not enter a plea, nor is the case being dropped. The commissioner set a date for another status hearing January 9.
Smith says he's talking to prosecutors weekly to keep the case moving forward and says this no disposition doesn't really have much meaning.
"The more you do up front, the better the chance is going to be of a clean and better trial if it goes to trial so I'm all for it if they say Jeffrey, they could charge you for something anywhere at the drop of a hat whether are a grand jury which pretty much goes by what prosecutors want you to do or bill of information. I'm always happy when the DA says they want to do more investigation," said Smith.
Smith says his client is doing well even though she's not teaching right now. He says Respess hopes to eventually put this behind her.
The pair faces charges following allegations of an alleged three-way sexual encounter with a 16-year-old Destrehan High School student. The alleged incident occurred in early September at Repress' apartment after a football game.
Dufresne was arrested on Sept. 30 by St. Charles deputies and was booked on one count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
A day later, Dufresne was arrested again, along with Respess.
Respess was booked with one count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, indecent behavior and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
Dufresne faces criminal proceedings in both St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.