Dec 5, 2011 10:26 PM by Maddie Garrett

LHS Teacher Out on Bond, Charged with Fondling Students

Lafayette High School teacher Katie Champagne was released from jail Monday night on a $30,000 bond. Police are charging Champagne with six counts of indecency with a juvenile.

Police say Champagne willingly went to the Lafayette Police Department for questioning Monday afternoon. After meeting with investigators, she was brought to the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center and booked. She is charged with fondling six female students, all under the age of 17.

The investigation started almost a month ago, after police say a 14-year-old female came forward and alleged that Champagne had fondled her and several other students. Police said the allegations indicated that the teacher had grabbed the breast and slapped the buttocks of the victim.

"We feel we have interviewed just about everyone that has been in that class, some of the students obviously gave different statements that felt that they weren't victims of any crime," said Corporal Paul Mouton. "Detectives felt there were six students and there was evidence to back it up they in fact had been violated."

That evidence came from surveillance video police confiscated from Lafayette High School after executing a search warrant on November 18, 2011.

"The video itself was able to substantiate some of the information that was being provided to the detectives by the student. So they took that footage which is now part of the evidence of the case, and it indicated or showed and proved what the allegations were," said Mouton.

Champagne, a dance teacher at LHS, has been on administrative leave since mid-November, after the student filed a complaint. Police said the alleged incidents took place between September and November of this year.

Lafayette School Board did not comment on CHampagne's arrest Monday, although they did say she is on unpaid administrative leave pending further investigation.



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