Ex-Destrehan High School teacher Shelley Dufresne made a plea deal to avoid jail time in St. Charles Parish. Louisiana. The woman ended up pleading guilty to obscenity instead of the original charge of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
The deal means she will not serve the three-year jail sentence she was facing and will not be required to register as a sex offender. The judge sentenced Dufresne to 90 days in a mental health facility and three years probation. If she does not fulfill these terms, she must serve 90 days in jail in St. Charles Parish.
When Dufresne left court, she posted a picture of her smiling on Facebook with the caption “my mood today” followed by three smiling faces. Her rather flippant attitude about important legal proceedings upset quite a few people in the area.
“She needs to be somber. I don’t think this was a joyous day at all,” local resident Lisa Young noted in an interview. “I think for sure she would have had to register as a sex offender.”
It should be noted Dufresne also had her teaching license revoked as a condition of her plea deal.
Legal experts highlight that this kind of plea deal is actually relatively common. The goal for the defendant is to minimize his or her sentence and to stay off the sex offenders list, and prosecutors get a conviction without having to worry about a sympathetic jury finding the defendant not guilty and letting her off entirely.
Of note, the victim testified that the sex was consensual. Authorities say the teacher and student had sex several times between Aug. 22 and Sept. 22.
Keep in mind that Dufresne and her 24-year-old friend Rachel Respess are also accused of having sex with the same student in Kenner, Louisiana. This case will be scheduled in Jefferson Parish in the near future.