Owen Labrie Sentenced to a Year in Prison

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

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. The mother of the victim in the New Hampshire prep school sex assault said that in speaking out against her attacker, Owen Labrie, her daughter just wanted to do what was right. 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.” The case scandalised St Paul’s School in Concord, a 159-year-old institution whose alumni include US Secretary of State John Kerry, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, at least 13 U.S. ambassadors and three Pulitzer Prize winners, including Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Labrie, an aspiring divinity student and captain of the soccer team, told authorities the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse, saying he stopped short in a moment of “divine intervention.” At trial, he acknowledged bragging to friends that he had intercourse with her. 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. At the start of the punishment phase, prosecutors asked the judge to sentence the defendant to 3.5-7 years in prison for the felony count, as well as suspended sentences for the four misdemeanors, based upon completion of a sex offender program while incarcerated.

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. 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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