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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Plea allows teacher to avoid prison, sex-offender registry

Plea allows teacher to avoid prison, sex-offender registry

HAHNVILLE, La. (AP) — One of two former Destrehan High School teachers accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student, has agreed to a plea deal in St. Charles Parish that will allow her to avoid prison time or having to register as a sex offender.

The deal was announced in Hahnville at a Thursday hearing in the case of Shelley Dufresne, 32. The deal avoids a May 20 trial.

The New Orleans Advocate reports Dufresne pleaded guilty to one felony count of obscenity. She received a $1,000 fine but a three-year prison sentence was deferred on the condition that she complete 90 days of mental health treatment. A carnal knowledge charge will be held open during her three-year probation period.

Dufresne and another former Destrehan teacher, 24-year-old Rachel Respess, were arrested last fall, but have not yet been formally charged, in a Jefferson Parish case involving the same student.

Dufresne has been under house arrest since she bonded out of jail, and has been allowed to leave her home to attend daily mental health appointments.

In November, she sought an adjustment in her house arrest conditions to help get her children, ages 3, 5 and 7, to school and doctor's appointments in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The motion stated that Dufrene's oldest child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and required therapy twice a week.

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