Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS -- A Mt. Hermon special education teacher is behind bars on aggravated incest and pornography charges.

So far, six victims have come forward claiming Murray 'Joey' Duncan, Jr. molested them. Deputies say there could be others.

The small Northshore community of Mt. Hermon is in disbelief. On Wednesday, Washington Parish deputies arrested Duncan, a junior high special education teacher at Mt. Hermon school, after he was accused of sexually abusing multiple children in the community.

'He was always well known as an outstanding guy in our neighborhood,' said neighbor Debra Boudreaux. 'Our kids use to cut through his yard to get to the other kids' houses and he was always real friendly.'

Deputies began investigating Duncan after a concerned parent came forward with allegations that he had touched their child inappropriately.

After his arrest deputies searched his home and found child pornography on his computer.

However, with his arrest came several more allegations of molestation, including a child of a relative. Investigators say none the victims who have come forward are students at the school where he works.

According to deputies, the victims range from as young as 5 years old to their mid-teens.

'We still have parents that are calling us,' said Chief Deputy of Washington Parish Mike Haley. 'We've had some others in addition to the ones I have mentioned and we are following up on those.'

Haley said four of the six victims claim Duncan touched them inappropriately during two different overnight church trips in which he was a volunteer.

'He was a person who we discovered obviously spent a lot of time with children,' said Haley. 'He made himself available either as a volunteer, athletic coach or whatever else. He had a lot of exposure with kids.'

Neighbors that know Duncan and his family say there were never any red flags and say they never expected anything because of just how active he was in his local church.

'I just can't imagine, and my heart goes out to the families especially and the church,' said Boudreaux.

While in custody Duncan admitted to having child pornography and engaging in sexual acts with children.

In a statement to investigators, Duncan said, 'I have been battling these demons for a long time.'

Now, community members that trusted this life-long resident with their children say they are just glad he is finally behind bars.

'I am very grateful Joey is going to get the help or whatever he needs and that he can't hurt anymore children,' said Boudreaux. 'He is obviously sick and needs help.'

Washington Parish Superintendent Darrell Fairburn said Duncan has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Any parents who have concerns about possible inappropriate contact between Duncan and their children are urged to call the Washington Parish Sheriff's office at 985-839-3434.

Read or Share this story: