What Was Owen Labrie Found Guilty Of? The St. Paul's School Student Faced Felony & Misdemeanor Charges
A verdict was reached in the case of a 19-year-old former prep school student who was accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a younger classmate. Owen Labrie faced nine charges altogether — three of them felonies with sentences of up to 20 years per count, along with a separate, less serious felony regarding online communication. The remaining charges were misdemeanors. Labrie denied having sex with the unnamed girl and claimed their interactions were mutual. So, what was Owen Labrie found guilty of?
First, Labrie was found not guilty of the three felony sexual assault charges and of one misdemeanor charge for simple assault. The most serious charge that Labrie was found guilty of was a felony related to his online communication with the victim as a way to "seduce, solicit, lure or entice a child under the age of 16." Labrie was also found guilty of three misdemeanor sexual assault charges, as well as one misdemeanor related to child welfare endangerment. Labrie was accused of allegedly raping the victim when she was a freshman at St. Paul's prep school in Concord, N.H., which the two attended together.
A senior at the time, he was allegedly taking part in an unofficial practice known as the "senior salute," where older students reportedly attempt to hook up with younger students prior to graduating. Labrie was 18 at the time, while the victim was just 15 — one year shy of the age of consent in New Hampshire. They mutually agreed to meet at a building on campus on May 30, 2014. But their accounts differed greatly following the two moving from the roof to a mechanical room below.
According to Labrie, the two were intimate but he had stopped himself from having sexual intercourse with the victim in a moment of "self-restraint" even after putting on a condom. He did admit to telling friends that the two had had sex, however. The victim testified that Labrie allegedly violated her despite the fact that she said "no" multiple times. In all, the victim was on the witness stand for well over a day recalling the incident in question. Following the verdict, her family issued a statement of support for the verdict as well as the victim herself:
While he was not convicted on all charges, Owen Labrie was held accountable in some way by a jury of his peers for crimes he committed against our daughter. This conviction requires him to take ownership for his actions and gives him the opportunity to reflect upon the harm he has caused. ... It was our young daughter who took the stand to speak the truth and request justice. We admire her bravery in coming forward and speaking out in the face of great adversity. It is truly her courage that has made this measure of justice possible today.
According to the Associated Press, Labrie will be sentenced Oct. 29. He could face up to 11 years in jail: one year for each of the four misdemeanor convictions and seven years for the felony. Labrie's lawyer, J.W. Carney, claimed the felony of using a computer to lure a minor was not intended to be used regarding two teens communicating each other. He said he will request probation.
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