Former Art Teacher Found Guilty of Sexually Abusing Student

Former Art Teacher Found Guilty of Sexually Abusing Student

Lafourche Parish District Attorney Kristine Russell has announced that a former art teacher from south Lafourche has been found guilty as charged by a twelve-person Lafourche parish jury for Molestation of a Juvenile, Sexual Battery when the Victim is Under 13, and Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile Under 13 after a three-day trial.

Ralph Cheramie Jr., 64, sexually abused the victim while teaching at a middle school in 2009. Although the former student initially reported the incident to school administrators, an internal investigation yielded little action, and law enforcement was not involved at the time.


The victim, now an adult, decided to come forward again, only this time reporting the incident directly to law enforcement. During the trial, the testimony of another victim of Cheramie’s abuse from years prior was crucial in illustrating Cheramie’s pattern and method of grooming young students for sexual purposes.

Chief of Trials Jason Chatagnier, who prosecuted the case alongside Assistant District Attorney Stephen Schieffler, emphasized the betrayal of trust by Cheramie, who violated the fundamental responsibility teachers have for the safety and well-being of their students.

Responding to character evidence submitted by the defense that tried to portray the defendant as a “rockstar,” Chatagnier said, “In our community, there’s a word to describe what the defendant has done and it isn’t ‘rockstar’ – it’s pedophile.”

After around an hour of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict. Ralph Cheramie now faces a combined total of well over one hundred years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

The Honorable Christopher Boudreaux, who presided over the trial, ordered that Cheramie be remanded into law enforcement custody pending his formal sentencing date.• If you do not meet any of the criteria in the above paragraph, your court appearance is continued. A new court date will be sent to you by mail.

Additional charges are pending against Cheramie in connection with another victim.