Trial set for former teacher accused of rape

Lisa Addison

A former Lake Charles Charter Academy teacher charged with raping a 10-year-old student will be heading to trial on April 5 in state district court.

Deidre Rae Smith, 36, of Sulphur, appeared in court Thursday before Judge Mike Canaday.

Smith, who has been out on bond since last year, was in court for a continuance to be set in her case as well as important dates to be scheduled, including a pre-trial conference on March 11 and her April trial date.

It was also revealed in open court that there is a plea deal from the state that has been presented to Smith but she has not accepted or declined the offer and no specific terms of the plea were mentioned in court.

If found guilty at trial of the rape charge, the sentence Smith would face is life in prison.

According to authorities, the original investigation of Smith began in April of 2019 when the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office received a complaint from an administrator at Lake Charles Charter Academy.

Detectives said Smith had been having inappropriate contact with the victim since the end of 2018, and that Smith allegedly had sexual intercourse with the victim.

Adam Johnson, one of her attorneys (along with Todd S. Clemons), represented Smith in court on Thursday.

Denisse Paralles is the prosecutor for this case and she was also in court.

All parties agreed to the continuance as well as the upcoming court dates for Smith.

In Dec. 2019, Smith had her bond lowered from $1.3 million to $750,000 during a court appearance before Canaday. Smith pleaded not guilty in August of 2019 to eight counts of first-degree rape; seven counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile; and two counts of sexual battery of a victim under the age of 13.

She was booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center on May 1, 2019, on charges of first-degree rape and felony indecent behavior with a juvenile. Smith was released at that time on a $50,000 bond set by Judge Robert Wyatt.

After an investigation, Smith was re-arrested the next month, in June of 2019, for additional alleged incidents with the victim. At that time, Smith was booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center on nine counts of first-degree rape, five counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, two counts of sexual battery and one count of oral sexual battery. Judge Guy Bradberry set Smith’s bond at $1.3 million.

In August of that year, Smith was re-arrested after an investigation revealed additional incidents that authorities said took place in Beauregard Parish. Smith was taken from the Calcasieu Correctional Center to Beauregard Parish to face those charges and then brought back and re-booked into the Correctional Center.

At some point after her bond was lowered, Smith bonded out of the Correctional Center and has been awaiting trial on her charges.Deidre Rae Smith, 36, of Sulphur, appeared in court Thursday before Judge Mike Canaday.

Special to the American Press

Local News

Jeff Davis School Board approves one-time pay supplement

Crime

15-minute deliberation before Vernon man convicted of recruiting prostitutes

Crime

Kinder man convicted in double homicide

Crime

10/22: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

More than 500 vehicles expected at Last Resort car show

Local News

SW La. nightlife calendar: Here’s what’s happening

Local News

It’s Spooktacular: Coats for Kids kickoff Oct. 29

Crime

DeRidder man convicted of kidnapping will be resentenced on drug charges

high-school Football

Dragons return home to face Bolton

Local News

Happy Halloween: Your thrill guide to fall fests and all kinds of frightening fun

Local News

Katie Daniel: Favorite thing about teaching art is seeing imaginations on display

Local News

Parents given quarantine option in Jeff Davis

Local News

Calcasieu wants nearly $4 billion more in relief funds

Local News

Photo Gallery: McNeese Homecoming Parade

Business News

AT&T expanding footprint in Lake Charles

Business News

Metalplate Galvanizing asks Jeff Davis School Board for tax exemption

Local News

Monoclonal antibody community-based treatment sites open

Crime

Driver in Moss Bluff hit-and-run sought

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Some past history helps

Local News

Doctor: COVID cases improving, but region still at risk

Local News

Mayor: Laura left behind 300-400 condemned commercial buildings

Local News

Remaining animals will not be euthanized while shelter temporarily closed

Crime

Leesville man will be resentenced in robbery

Crime

Elton man accused of arson attempt