Convicted prep school grad had nixed lighter sentence deals

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Senior salute’ earns Labrie one year in jail and lifetime on sex offender registry.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A graduate of an exclusive New Hampshire prep school who was convicted of sexually assaulting a younger student rejected a string of plea deals that would have meant less jail time and no registration as a sex offender. Labrie, 20, was sentenced to one year in county jail on Thursday after he was convicted in August of three misdemeanors related to penetrative sexual assault, a misdemeanor for endangering the welfare of a child and a felony for using a computer to solicit a child under 16. Merrimack County Attorney Scott Murray said Friday he believes the most recent deal offered to 20-year-old Owen Labrie called for a 30-day sentence and no sex offender registration.

Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler added that he believed Labrie was “not the angel as portrayed by your counsel” but nor was he “the devil as portrayed by the prosecution.” Labrie was originally charged with rape, accused of forcing himself on the girl in a nearly deserted academic building in 2014, just before his graduation. Labrie’s case attracted national attention because of the alleged sexual culture at the elite St Paul’s school in New Hampshire, including a tradition known as the “Senior Salute, in which male seniors allegedly competed to have sexual encounters with younger female students. A jury in August cleared him of rape and convicted him instead of misdemeanour sexual assault for having intercourse and other sexual contact with an underage girl.

The girl’s mother said her daughter was reluctant to accept Labrie’s invitation to meet up with him. “Her experience was extremely limited with young men and certainly zero with an 18-year-old man,” her mother said. “I know she regrets going.” In a statement delivered on air by her mother, the girl said she was compelled to tell her story. “Going through this legal process, I now understand why victims feel as if they can’t speak up, yet cannot see how I would have lived day-to-day life without telling the truth,” she said. In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Today Show Friday, the victim’s mother, who had her face obscured to protect the identity of her daughter, said that participating in the trial had been excruciating for the teenage girl.

During the sentencing the girl also spoke out via a videotaped statement. “What he did to me made me feel like I didn’t belong on this planet,” she said tearfully, “and that I would be better off dead than to deal every day with what was thrown in my direction after doing the right thing.” Labrie has denied ever having sex with the freshman girl. • Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? The assault took place in 2014 as part of St Paul’s sordid ‘senior salute’ tradition, where graduating seniors strive to have sex with underclassmen. Labrie’s arrest exposed a competition at the boarding school called the “Senior Salute”, in which upperclassmen kept score of how many younger students they had sex with. — ACCUSED killer Daniel Holdom was found in possession of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson’s bank card more than four years after he allegedly murdered her in Belanglo State Forest. Smukler said in court on Thursday Labrie’s acquittal on forcible rape charges did not mean the 15-year-old had consented to sex, as she was too young to do so.

— SENIOR US officials say a small number of US special operations forces will be deployed to northern Syria to work with local ground forces in the fight against Islamic State militants. — ROMAN Polanski has avoided extradition after a Polish court rejected a bid to have the director brought to the US for the historic rape of a teen girl. Timothy O’Malley of the Concord Police Department told ABC News, “It’s not evident so far in our investigation that other students were intent on targeting underage females.” During the ensuing trial, Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle said the tradition could be used as a way for students “to be with someone that they might have wanted to be with throughout,” but that Labrie had been driven by competitiveness. While Labrie maintained that they did not have sex, his verbal and electronic communications to his classmates revealed a carefully-crafted trail of manipulation, with one intended final result.

The New York Times reports that he “told the police that he was one of many students trying to beat out his peers by seeing how often he could ‘score.’” And what emerged during the trial was that while he was inviting the girl to bask in the view, he was texting a friend “I’M SLAYIN” with her. Paul’s, she stood up to the rape culture that exists in our society that allows boys to be boys and somehow says it is OK for men to do irreparable harm to girls,” he said.

Labrie testified that the entire encounter was mutual, and that he decided against having sex after a moment of “divine inspiration.” Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com. I said no three times.” But she also said, “I tried to be as polite as possible … I wanted to not cause a conflict…” She said it was painful and that “I felt like I was frozen.” And she admitted, “I didn’t want him to laugh at me. I didn’t want to offend him.” During a video statement to the court this week, she said, “I know why people don’t come forward and it kills me to say that.” In handing down his sentence Thursday, Judge Smukler said, “She was in over her head. That’s very clear.” The legal system is very slowly beginning to grasp that sexual assault is not always a clearcut case of a person kicking and screaming and pushing. I have to recognize what you did to her when you committed the crime.” And he added to the young man who sweet talked a girl while bragging to his buddies, “Bluntly, if you did express remorse, I think it would have been dishonest.

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