A lauded school paraprofessional was an alleged accessory after the fact in the case of a man accused of raping children. Heather French, 34, was arrested Thursday in connection to charges against Douglas Decuir, 40.
The children in this case are now ages 11 and 14, according to court documents obtained by WBRZ. The other child was under 13 when the crime allegedly happened.
French is employed at Galvez Middle School in Prairieville, Louisiana, where she reportedly won a “support person of the year” award for the 2020-21 school year. Cops in the city of Gonzales, Louisiana, did not say who the defendant adults knew the children, but in a letter to parents, the principal Dr. Tachelle White said this case did not involve students at the school.
“We were informed that a Galvez Middle School paraprofessional was arrested last night,” she wrote, according to local outlets. “It is part of a Gonzales Police Department investigation that did not originate at our school. The employee is not on campus today, and we will take appropriate action in working with law enforcement on their investigation.”
French is charged with two counts each of accessory after the fact to first-degree rape, and failure to report the commission of certain felonies.
Decuir is charged with two counts each of first-degree rape, pornography involving juveniles, and indecent behavior with juveniles. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in January. The court appointed two doctors to evaluate him. He was charged at the end of January with inciting a felony, and obstruction of justice.
“We understand this causes concerns from our parents and community, and we want you to know that the safety and security of our students are of the utmost importance,” White said. “Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have specific concerns about your child, but please be aware that we are limited in what we know and can share as it is a law enforcement investigation.”
[Booking photos via Gonzales Police Department]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]