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Louisiana teacher accused of having threesome with student and fellow educator found not guilty

April 27, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Louisiana teacher accused of having threesome with student and fellow educator found not guilty

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Shelley Dufresne, the Louisiana teacher accused of having a continuous sexual tryst with a student, which culminated in a steamy threesome involving a second teacher was found not guilty on Wednesday.

The former 34-year-old Destrehan High School teacher was acquitted on Wednesday of two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile when she appeared in a Louisiana court.

In issuing her ruling, Judge Danyelle Taylor said prosecutors failed to prove their case beyond any reasonable doubt, the Times-Picayune reports.

The judge called into question the evidence provided by the witness who Taylor labeled as untrustworthy and referenced the teen’s “braggadocios nature” and “propensity for lying.”

“I do not believe that the threshold has been met by the evidence presented to this court,” Taylor said.

The judge added, “credibility becomes critical. While he is most certainly not on trial here today, his ability and his willingness, to tell the truth, are paramount issues for this court to consider.”

Shelley Dufresne leaves court after she was found not guilty on Wednesday

The former unnamed student who was 16-years-old at the time testified on Tuesday in court about the steamy rendezvous — and admitted to taping one of the women sleeping after sex as evidence to show to his fellow teammates on the football team.

The witness, now 19-years-old, outlined the relationship he had with Shelley Dufresne starting when he was a student in her English class. The month-long relationship began with a Facebook message from Dufresne after the teen was sick one day in 2014 and quickly grew to the student and teacher kissing in her classroom.

“Later that night was the first time that Shelly and I had intercourse,” the teen said to Judge Danyelle Taylor of the 24th Judicial District Court as Dufresne’s trial commenced. The woman pleaded not guilty to two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, according to the Times-Picayune.

The night that their tryst began, Dufresne picked up the teen from his home after a football scrimmage. The former student added that the teacher drove to an isolated location where the pair had sex.

Dufresne (right) and fellow teacher Rachel Respess (left), were arrested when a student at Destrehan High School started bragging that he slept with both of them. Dufresne was found not guilty on Wednesday

Prosecutors say Dufresne arranged the trysts using a false Facebook page under the name “Madison Mexicano,” complete with a profile picture of the cartoon character Speedy Gonzalez. The cover image also included the statement, “I love Mexican boys,” a reference to the teen, according to Rachel Africk, who is a prosecutor in the case. The teen testified Tuesday that he didn’t like that reference because he is half-Colombian and half-White.

The teen informed the court of a list of the places where he met Dufresne to have sex, including at her residence in Montz, inside her vehicle in parking lots — and in a shed at a friend’s home. The relationship intensified when the two engaged in a threesome with another former Destrehan High School English teacher, 26-year-old Rachel Respess, at her apartment.

The teen said he recorded footage of Respess while she slept after the threesome and told the court that his genitals could be observed in the video.

“It was like proof,” he stated, adding that he showed the footage to his teammates on the football team. “I told them but they didn’t believe me.”

Shelley Dufresne was acquitted on charges related to allegations she had sex with a teen student while she was a teacher in Louisiana

School administrators eventually found out about the threesome after rumors spread and called authorities.

Meanwhile, defense lawyers accused the teen of committing a crime himself by taping himself touching Respess as she slept and later showing that video to his friend. They also accused the teen of not being honest about his relationship with Dufresne, questioning the exact date that their sexual relationship started and arguing that the dates and locations provided by investigators were not accurate.

Defense attorney Kim McElwee contended that the purported threesome didn’t occur because the teen told police he “couldn’t get an erection,” a claim the teen denied while he was on the stand.

Detectives did not manage to recover the alleged footages of Respess sleeping because the teen confessed to deleting it, as well as other pictures and texts. He deleted them, according to McElwee, because he was aware that what he did was illegal.

“You know it’s a crime to video without permission?” she asked.

On Tuesday, McElwee alluded to the idea that the teen threatened to publicize their relationship after she corrected him in class.

“At any moment, I can expose this, and you can go to jail and lose your life,” McElwee claimed the teen said.

And the graphic video of Respess, McElwee argued, was an act of revenge for an issue he had in her class one year prior.

“He told cops he got payback,” McElwee said.

Shelley Dufresne was facing ten years behind bars and a $5,000 penalty. She had previously pleaded guilty to a diminished charge of obscenity.

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