HOUMA, La. — The athletic director for Terrebonne High School was arrested Thursday after authorities say he reportedly had sexual contact with multiple female students.
The Houma Police Department said 59-year-old Joseph Clement faces charges of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, sexual battery, indecent behavior with a juvenile and two counts of prohibited sexual conduct between educator and student.
Clement's arrest comes just one week after the police department launched an investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior between students and teachers at the school.
Police say Clement has been a teacher at the school for several years and the inappropriate behavior has been reportedly going on for "quite some time."
"It was reported to HPD detectives that Joseph Clement conducted inappropriate behavior with multiple female students under the age of 17 years old at Terrebonne High School," a statement from the police department said.
Clement was contacted Thursday and later turned himself in at the police department. He was booked into the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex. Bond was set at $153,000.
According to his bio page on Terrebonne High School's website, Clement has had multiple coaching and teaching jobs, working 11 years at Vanderbilt Catholic High School, two years at H.L. Bourgeois High School, and 18 years at Terrebonne High School.
Clement has coached football, track, and is currently the athletic director at Terrebonne High School. He also was the president of the Louisiana High School Atheltic Directors Association until recently, our partners at the Houma Today reported.
The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the LHSADA awarded Clement the 2020 Louisiana Award of Merit in January, the Houma Today reported.
Clement served as the head football coach, an assistant football coach, and the head coach for the boy's soccer team while at Terrebonne High School, the Houma Today reported.
Philip Martin, superintendent of Terrebonne Parish Public Schools told WWLTV that the carnal knowledge charges against Clement were not from his time working at Terrebonne High School, but Martin said he was disappointed.
"It's extremely disappointing when adults act that way toward children," Martin said. "The school district is taking the most stringent action they can against Joseph Clement, the athletic director at Terrebonne High School."
Anyone with information is encouraged to submit a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers Bayou Region by phone at 1-800-743-7433 or online at www.crimestoppersbr.org. Tipsters could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 in cash if the information leads to an arrest.
Terrebonne High School is located in Houma, La., and is part of the Terrebonne Parish School District.