Shelley Dufresne, the former Destrehan High School teacher embroiled in a sex scandal involving an underage student, entered a plea of not guilty through her lawyer in Jefferson Parish commissioner’s court Wednesday. She is facing two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
Dufresne, who was not required to be in court, will be tried alongside Rachel Respess, who earlier pleaded not guilty to a charge of failure to report Dufresne’s alleged crime.
Dufresne’s attorney, James Williams, declined to comment after the brief hearing.
Dufresne, 33, and Respess, 25, were arrested last year. Police say they invited the student — then 16 years old — to Respess’ Kenner apartment for a three-way sexual encounter on Sept. 12, 2014.
Dufresne was also charged in St. Charles Parish and has agreed to a plea deal in that case that will allow her to avoid having to register as a sex offender.
In Jefferson, District Attorney Paul Connick charged Dufresne last month on two counts related to an incident in August 2014 and the one on Sept. 12, while Respess got the lesser charge of failure to report.
The charges against Dufresne each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine. The charge against Respess carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $500 fine. The case will be heard by Judge Danyelle Taylor in 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.