Rachel Respess, left, and Shelley Dufresne (AP Photo/St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office) (AP)
PREVIOUSLY: Shelley Dufresne and Rachel Respess: UPDATE
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I had an update on this topic (of which my various posts have remained some of my highest-viewed entries). Well, I have been keeping up with this case, there have been a few updates regarding the civil suit that the victim has filed, but nothing that seemed significant enough to write about it. But then I did get this article in my google alerts this morning.
So, where we last left off, both women were set to go to trial together, Shelley Dufresne for having sex with the 17 year old boy in Rachel Respess’ apartment, and Respess for allowing the sex to take place in her apartment, and not reporting it to the authorities (since, despite the original claims, the prosecutors don’t appear to believe that they can prove that Respess actually joined in the sex between Defresne and the teenager).
Yesterday, the Judge in this case, Danyelle Taylor of the 24th Judicial District Court, agreed to separate the two trials. Thinking about that, I agree that that makes sense. IF you’re going to try to convict Rachel Respess of, basically, allowing a crime to happen, then first you have to prove that the crime in question actually happened. So now it says that Respess is due back in court next months, on May 24th, for a status hearing about her case.
Shelley Dufresne however is due in court today. Her trial is scheduled to begin this morning. Keep in mind, she was first arrest on October 1st, 2014. And now her trial is just beginning 2 and a half years later. It seems like a long time for what should be a relatively simple charge, in my opinion. Did she fuck the boy or not? That’s the question. And, keep in my mind, she already admitted to having sex with the boy in her own home. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not she also had sex with him in Respess’ apartment.
So why has this taken so long? As I wrote about way back in my initial post about this case, I think there are societal double-standards regarding female pedophiles. That includes from the way the stories are reported in the media, to the way the public reacts to them.
And a (female) reader recently objected to my use of the word “pedophile” to describe these women, but in my opinion that just proves my point. I think if the genders were reversed, the case would have gone to trial (or settled) much sooner. Although, admittedly, I have still been unable to find out what has happened in regards to the arrest of male teacher Dominic Lewis, whom I wrote about HERE. So I could be wrong.
I’ll also note that, according to the news, Shelley Dufresne waived her right to a jury trial, so instead her case will be heard by the judge herself. That is a very interesting development. I can’t be sure if that’s better or worse for her. With a jury, she only needed to convince at least ONE out of 12 people that she is innocent, and she could go free. But now she has to convince this one judge, Danyelle Taylor. I suppose a jury trial would be longer, and draw this thing out, so she may be thinking it’s best to get it over with. And this judge is a woman, maybe she thinks she’ll be more sympathetic towards her?
Anyway, as I type this, it should be past noon in Louisiana, so the trial should have already began by now. I’m at work, so can’t really check anything else at the moment, but I will look into this again together and update this blog as needed.