May 22, 2015

Did Shelly Dufresne get special treatment? Crime commision thiinks so

5-22-15 Louisiana:

A watchdog group is asking for a probe on whether former Destrehan High School teacher Shelley Dufresne, 32, who admitted to having sex with a 16-year-old student, received preferential treatment that led to a lighter sentence because her father is a sitting district judge.

The Metropolitan Crime Commission asked the state Attorney General's office to pursue a criminal investigation in a letter sent to Attorney General Buddy Caldwell on May 20. Dufresne is the daughter of 29th Judicial District Judge Emile St. Pierre.

The letter requests that the state investigate St. Charles Parish District Attorney Joel Chaisson's handling of the case to determine "if any criminal violations have been committed."

Crime Commission president Rafael Goyeneche III wrote that it appears Dufresne was given preferential treatment because the day after she publicly pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obscenity in open court, she was allowed to privately plead guilty to a misdemeanor during a hearing held in ad hoc Judge Anne Simon's chamber at the Hahnville courthouse.

"The actions and omissions of D.A. Joel Chaisson, who was present during both guilty pleas, creates the appearance that preferential treatment and political considerations took precedence over the law," the Commission's letter states.

"Ms. Dufresne's April 10th misdemeanor guilty plea occurred during a court session that was shrouded from the public in judicial chambers which infers an intent by D.A. Chaisson to conceal these proceedings from the public." ..Continued.. by Littice Bacon-Blood

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