A celebrated prep teacher, coach and athletic director in Louisiana has pleaded guilty to child sex crimes after being accused of abusing students on school grounds.
Joseph Clement, former Terrebonne High School athletic director, avoided jail time by pleading guilty to three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, according to The Courier. He had originally been charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile, sexual battery, indecent behavior with a juvenile and two counts of prohibited sexual conduct between educator and student.
After his pleas were heard by the court, District Judge David Arceneaux gave Clement a suspended seven-year sentence on each count and ordered him to serve three years supervised probation. He must also register as a sex offender.
Clement’s guilty pleas date back to a 2020 investigation after inappropriate behavior between teachers and students at Terrebonne was reported to authorities. As a result of that investigation, Clement was accused of sexually abusing multiple students under the age of 17.
After investigators obtained a warrant, Clement turned himself into authorities.
Clement worked at Terrebonne since 1999, serving as the president of the Louisiana High School Athletic Directors Association. He also received numerous awards and accolades during his time there.
The last 21 of his 38 years at Terrebonne were spent as a teacher and head football coach, assistant football coach and head boys’ soccer coach. Prior to arriving at Terrebonne, Clement taught at Vandebilt Catholic High School.
In January of this year, the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association honored Clement with the 2020 Louisiana State Award of Merit during the Louisiana High School Athletic Director’s Association annual convention.