Louisiana parents are mortified after a district attorney struck a plea deal with a substitute teacher who had sex with two teenage boys that let the woman off with just $900 fines and only two years worth of probation from educating minors.
The woman, Heidi Marie Domangue, "was booked with indecent behavior with a juvenile under 13 and three counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile" in 2016. During the investigation, it became apparent she actually had sex two teenagers, aged 15 and 16, as well as sending sexually implicit text messages to the aforementioned juvenile under 13.
During this time, parents of these children thought justice was going to be served with at least requiring her to register as a sex offender, barred from teaching, and serving some amount of jail time.
But, as reported by WAFB 9, she struck a plea deal instead that doesn't require any of that.
She was charged with two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, instead of three. What’s more, those charges were knocked down to misdemeanors. The indecent behavior with a juvenile under 13 charge was changed to “attempted contribution to the delinquency of a minor."
Domangue won’t be able to teach during her two-year probation period, but she won’t have to register as a sex offender or serve any time, either.
The parents of the two boys blasted the district attorney's decision.
“They were cheated,” said the mother of a Terrebonne student.
“Justice wasn’t served. It just wasn’t,” agreed another mother.
“We didn’t want her around any more kids. And that’s at school, at home. I feel she’s a predator,” one mom said.
However, the man behind the plea deal assures parents that despite not being legally required to be a sex offender, the state's public school background check procedures will prevent her from teaching again.
“Would I have liked to have gotten a felony conviction and put her in jail? Yes, I would. But with the evidentiary issues we had, I just felt like keeping her out, this was the best mechanism,” Terrebonne Parish District Attorney Joe Waitz told the media.
“Our school systems across the state have extensive background checks when anyone applies, and these convictions will be placed in her personnel file. Once she applies anywhere, they will appear in her personnel file and they will say, ‘Hey, we don’t want this person, she has sex offenses,’” he added.
“They failed these kids,” one of the mother's told WAFB's Katharine Mozzone. Now, the mother's would like to see the " law changed to require prosecutors to notify parents of child victims they’re striking a plea deal and to allow them to weigh in." The other victim's mom told the media, "Harm children and get away with it. It’s not right."