Jury Deliberates in NH Rape Trial

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Closing arguments heard in St. Paul’s case.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Jurors deliberating the fate of a former prep school senior charged with raping a freshman were left to decide Thursday who was more credible: the defendant, who credited “divine inspiration” with helping him end their escalating sexual encounter, or the accuser, who couldn’t recall telling a friend what sex acts she was prepared to perform. Owen Labrie was “going to get what he wanted and not take no for an answer,” a prosecutor said during closing arguments in the prep school graduate’s rape trial.CONCORD, New Hampshire — Jurors began deliberations Thursday in the trial of a New England prep school graduate accused of rape, weighing charges in a case that has drawn attention to campus culture at one of the country’s most elite high schools. Owen Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, faces six sexual assault charges, three of them felonies, over his encounter last year with the 15-year-old girl in the attic of a near-deserted building at St.

Paul’s School student Owen Labrie, who prosecutors said in closing arguments “turned his lust for a 15-year-old girl into reality” when he took the freshman to a dark, secluded room last spring and raped her. Prosecutors say the encounter happened when Labrie was 18 years old as part of Senior Salute, a school tradition of sexual conquest in which seniors try to romance or have sex with underclassmen before graduation. Labrie’s lawyer, meanwhile, focused closing arguments on accusing the girl — whose tearful testimony was the centerpiece of the seven-day trial — of lying to protect her reputation. Carney Jr. zeroed in on the girl’s response to comments by her friend, who testified that the girl had said she might provide him oral sex when they got together.

The girl, now 16, testified about the alleged assault in a secluded room on the campus, describing how Labrie twice allegedly attempted to remove her bra and underwear, which she claims to have tried to resist. Paul’s, which boasts as alumni an international roster of senators, congressmen, ambassadors, Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel laureates and other notables, including U.S. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, Pool) (Cheryl Senter/AP) Jurors deliberated about 3 1/2 hours Thursday after hearing closing arguments and instructions from the judge. Labrie is charged with aggravated felonious sexual assault, placing the burden on prosecutors to prove that he sexually penetrated the girl without her free consent. A prosecutor has wrapped up his closing argument seeking rape convictions against a former student at an elite New Hampshire prep school, saying the defendant planned the assault and wasn’t going to be denied a sexual conquest days before his graduation.

The widely followed trial has cast light on the private school’s sexual culture, particularly a “senior salute” tradition in which graduating seniors look to arrange trysts with younger students, Carney accused St. Cherniske says it defies common sense that Labrie put on a condom and then had a moment of “divine inspiration” that stopped him from escalating their sexual contact.

She acknowledged on cross-examination she helped Labrie remove her shirt and pants and didn’t protest because she didn’t want to be offensive. “It was calculated. During testimony last week, the girl described Labrie’s invitation over e-mail to take in a view of the campus from the roof of a math and sciences building. But Cherniske said it was Labrie who exploited the tradition to “get what he wanted,” noting that Labrie and his friends had competed over who could “slay” the most girls. Cherniske asked the jury to recall the girl’s emotional appearance on the witness stand, when she described in painful detail how Labrie had sex with her over her objections. “[She] said no, and she said it three times,” he said. “She held her bra when he tried to take it off. She went on to tell jurors that Labrie did in fact have intercourse with her, and that, at one point before carrying out the act, he criticized her for being a “tease.” “I thought if anything he might try to kiss me,” the girl said. “I thought I might get to see a cool place, and maybe we’ll kiss.

Under New Hampshire law, her account does not need to be corroborated, he said. “The law recognized that crimes like these happen in secret,” he said. But that’s all.” Carney, the defense attorney, asked jurors on Thursday to use “common sense,” saying the girl’s statements to friends and messages with the accuser show she was a willing participant.

But Carney told jurors Thursday the messages showed the encounter was consensual, and said the girl fabricated a story of assault in order to insulate herself against gossip about a meeting she had willingly participated in. “She had to make a decision whether it would be her reputation that would go into the toilet, or Owen’s. Otherwise, rumors would spread and word would get back to the girl’s older sister, a classmate of Labrie’s who had briefly dated Labrie and had urged her sister to reject his invitation. The school rector, Mike Hirschfeld, told students in a letter last summer that participating in games involving sexual solicitation would be grounds for expulsion, and the school has said in a statement that allegations about the culture at St.

Paul’s “are are not emblematic of our School or our values, our rules, or the people who represent our student body, alumni, faculty, and staff.” On Thursday, Labrie’s attorney took aim at the school, telling jurors that St.

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