After WBRZ inquiry, state blocks the release of sex offender who molested boys
BATON ROUGE- The Department of Corrections blocked the release of a sex offender who was scheduled to get out of prison in a matter of hours after the WBRZ Investigative Unit began asking questions Monday.
Todd Michael Duquette molested at least five boys in East Baton Rouge Parish and was convicted in 1994. He was sentenced to 30 years. As he was getting sex offender rehabilitation, Duquette offended again and was caught with a ten-year-old in Texas.
Duquette served ten years in Texas for his crimes there, and came back to Louisiana to serve his 30-year sentence in 2008. Duquette was not supposed to be released until 2038, but because he was called a "model prisoner," he received credits for good time and met the requirements for release this week.
It comes as a slap in the face to the families of the victims.
"Eleven days before Christmas the year it happened, one of my brothers attempted suicide at recess at school when they asked him why, he told them what happened," Brandi Melissa, a family member of two of the victims, said. "My other brother coped by molesting me."
Melissa does not think Duquette can be rehabilitated because the help he sought after his conviction did not work.
"I'm terrified because you can't rehabilitate people like that," Melissa said.
Her sentiments are echoed by respected LSU Criminologist Ed Shihadeh. Shihadeh made it clear in 2018, it's very hard to rehabilitate predators.
"You can't change your sexuality," Shiahadeh said. "No prison course is going to change your sexual preferences. It's a unique personality disposition that tends to reinsert itself throughout your life."
A letter obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit showed Duquette will remain under state supervision once he's released until 2038. Duquette told the state he was going to live at 60207 Highway 434 in Lacombe. A quick search of that address shows it appears to be a property that houses sex offenders. State Police's online registry shows 22 offenders currently live there and two have active arrest warrants for being non-compliant.
Melissa believes prison is the only place for Duquette to keep the public safe.
"I don't want another child getting hurt," Melissa said. "With them not keeping him where he should be until its completion, I can't say it's not going to happen and no one can guarantee me it's not going to happen."
The Department of Corrections issued the following statement:
Todd Duquette will not release from prison on April 6, 2022, as originally scheduled. He met the legal requirements in Louisiana state law for release to good time parole supervision, including a residence plan. However, Mr. Duquette's residence plan has been withdrawn by the landlord. As such, he no longer has a residence plan, and without one, is ineligible for release.