Former Terrebonne High athletic director pleads guilty to sex crimes involving students

By: Dan Copp

Former Terrebonne High School Athletic Director Joseph Clement has pleaded guilty to child sex crimes after being accused of sexually abusing students on school grounds.

Clement, 61, avoided jailtime by pleading guilty Thursday to three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, prosecutors said.

After Clement entered his pleas, state District Judge David Arceneaux gave him a suspended seven-year sentence on each count and ordered him to serve three years of supervised probation.

Clement must also register as a sex offender, court records show.

He was originally 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, authorities said.

The guilty pleas resulted from a 2020 investigation of reported inappropriate behavior between students and teachers at the Houma school, authorities said. Clement, who has worked at the high school since 1999, was accused of sexually abusing multiple students under 17 on campus.

After investigators obtained a warrant for Clement’s arrest, he turned himself in to authorities and was booked into the Terrebonne Parish jail.

Clement served as the president of the Louisiana High School Athletic Directors Association and has received numerous awards and accolades during his tenure.

He worked the last 21 of his 38 years as a teacher and coach at Terrebonne, where he served as a head football coach, assistant football coach and head boys’ soccer coach