Teacher accused of rape

Lake Charles Charter Academy teacher arrested for indecent behavior with 10-year-old student

Deidra R. Smith, a teacher at Lake Charles Charter Academy, was arrested Tuesday and booked in to the Calcasieu Correctional Center on charges of first-degree rape and felony indecent behavior with a juvenile.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said it received a complaint from an administrator at the academy regarding Smith possibly having an inappropriate relationship with one of her 10-year-old male students.

“We take all allegations of staff misconduct seriously, sexual or otherwise,” Gene Thibodeaux, Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation president, said.

Thibodeaux said once the student reported the behavior to a teacher, administration then notified the Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Children and Family Services.

“We are fully cooperating with law enforcement to assure a thorough investigation is completed,” he said.

According to the release from the Sheriff’s Office, the initial investigation revealed Smith, 34, had been having inappropriate contact with the boy since the end of 2018. It was also learned she had sexual intercourse with the victim.

The investigation of the allegations is continuing, Thibodeaux said.

“This happens to be an isolated incident involving one student and is an off-campus rather than an on-campus activity,” he said.

“All employees must pass a rigorous background check prior to employment,” he added. “There are no exceptions to this rule.”

In his message to parents, Thibodeaux requested the privacy of the student be respected and he urged staff to “stay focused on our mission to provide our students the best education possible.”

Smith has been released on a $50,000 bond is on unpaid administrative leave from the school.

””Deidra R. SmithSpecial to the American Press

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