Instructor booked on sex charge
Champian Fulton, vocalist and pianist for her quartet, sings “Tea for Two” during her Friday performance at the Columbia Theatre. Fulton is known for her prodigious skill on the piano and her acclaimed vocals which mimic the likes of Ella Mae Morse, Betty Hutton and Doris Day. Elizabeth Hutchinson
Deputies of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office (TPSO) have arrested former University faculty member James Loyd on a charge of prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student.
Loyd, 41, was arrested Monday, April 9 in Livingston, La. and is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year old female high school student enrolled in the Upward Bound program, a federal education opportunity program to help high school students prepare for college. Loyd was a supplemental instructor for the program and also served as laboratory coordinator for the Department of Chemistry and Physics since 2007. Loyd is no longer employed at the University.
According to the TPSO's Public Information officer Dawn Panepinto, the "relationship" between Loyd and the unnamed high school student was consensual and the encounter, or encounters, occurred on campus while the student attended Upward Bound classes.
According to the Louisiana Revised Statute 14:81.4, if convicted Loyd faces either a fine of no more than $1,000, imprisonment for one to five years or both. The first offense is considered a misdemeanor by Louisiana law. Panepinto also said that Loyd could face further charges pending an investigation.
However, this case is complicated by the fact that the law does "not include universities and colleges."
Rachel Domiano, head of public relations for 21 judicial District Attorney Scott Perrilloux declined to comment, but stated that not enough is known about the case at this time to give an official statement.
Both Ron Abel, the director of Southeastern's Upward Bound Program, and Dr. Gerard Blanchard, head of the department of chemistry and physics, have declined to comment on the case. Rene Abadie, director of public information, provided the university's official response to the incident.
"There really is not an official response, he was arrested and it's a done deal," said Abadie. "As for the upward bound program itself, it's not in any kind of jeopardy and it will continue on as it always has."
Loyd could not be reach for comment and did not responds to any phone calls or email made by the Lion's Roar staff.
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