Prep school rape suspect says he lied to friends, never had sex with girl

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Defendant Testifies in Prep-School Assault Case.

CONCORD, New Hampshire — Jurors could soon begin deliberations in the trial of a New England prep school graduate accused of rape, as the defense rested its case Wednesday after calling only one witness: the defendant, 19-year-old Owen Labrie.CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A former student charged with raping a freshman girl two days before he graduated from an elite New Hampshire prep school acknowledged Wednesday that he deleted a Facebook message to a friend in which he wrote he used “every trick in the book” to have sex with her.

A prefect at an elite US boarding school has been accused of raping a 15-year-old girl as part of a competition among sixth-form boys to take the virginity of younger female students in their final days before graduation. The teenager told his side of the story during a day of testimony in a case that is shining a spotlight on sexual mores among teens, and drawing attention to life at one of the country’s most prestigious boarding schools. Labrie walked step-by-step through his account of what happened, saying that although he put on a condom at one point, he had second thoughts and stopped short of having intercourse.

Prosecutors have argued that the so-called “Senior Salute,” in which male and female upperclassmen attempt to hook up with younger students before graduating, helped create conditions for the girl’s alleged rape on campus. Labrie allegedly told police after his arrest last year that he was “trying to be number one” in the competition, and prosecutors said he made a list of girls he was interested in and capitalised the name of his alleged victim. Later, facing the prosecution, he answered questions about why he had left friends believing he had sex with the girl, saying he wanted to boast about the time spent with her, and saying that he lied about what occurred between them.

Labrie, who was charged on nine counts, has maintained that a “divine intervention” stopped him from going all the way during his Senior Salute with the accuser. The case has confronted the school with questions on whether teachers knew about the “senior salute”, a tradition that has been passed down for years among older students, but did nothing to stop it. Labrie said in the email he had gained access to a secluded room in the campus’s multi-million-dollar science building, which offered views of the sprawling St Paul’s campus sometimes referred to as “Millville”. Labrie of Tunbridge, Vt., has pleaded not guilty to three felony sexual assault charges and other charges, including endangering the welfare of a child.

They said Labrie gave no indication that the sex wasn’t consensual, and all agreed that students frequently exaggerate their sexual escapades when discussing them with peers. Reporting on Monday’s proceedings, The Boston Globe cited witness evidence from Andrew Thomson, Labrie’s former roommate at the elite prep school; Tucker Marchese, Malcolm Solovaara, and Henry Kremer, three other former students who were friends with Labrie; and a current St. Both sides have relied on emails and Facebook messages between the teenagers as well as testimony from Labrie’s friends, many of whom are now at Ivy League universities.

The girl testified last week that she initially thought Labrie’s intentions for asking her to participate in Senior Salute were “really wrong,” but she relented when a friend convinced her that Labrie was sincere in trying to pay attention to her. Thomson testified that he spoke to Labrie on the night of the alleged assault, and that he seemed “a little taken aback, but overall happy” after the encounter.

According to Ruffle, “She tried to say no, tried to use her physical conduct to let him know this was not OK.” “At one point I was in so much pain that I jerked backwards,” the girl said last Wednesday, telling the court that she said “no,” but did not kick or scream because she was afraid of offending the older boy. The court has so far heard testimony from 16 witnesses, including the accuser, her best friend, her mother, two nurses, a doctor, and the dean of students. In one exchange, the girl says Labrie’s plan to meet “sounds perfect.” The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted. The two then entered the building from opposite sides and climbed the stairs to the roof, where Labrie said they took in a nighttime view of campus, which was buzzing with activity related to graduation weekend. “I thought it was a really pretty view and I wanted to share it with her,” Labrie told the court, recalling that he thought the girl was having “a great time” as she took in the sight of the school dorms and chapel aglow with light.

Labrie said the two stood on the roof for five to ten minutes, trying to “soak it all in,” before they went inside an attic area full of buzzing HVAC machines and old science equipment. She acknowledged on cross-examination that she helped Labrie remove her shirt and pants and said she didn’t protest because she didn’t want to be offensive. By the end of last week, the court had seen minimal evidence beyond the accuser’s testimony (as well as that of her mother and friend) that her encounter with Labrie was not consensual.

Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin, who first interrogated Labrie, said authorities were able to access more than 100 messages he had deleted from his Facebook account, which might suggest he had something to hide. Carney if the girl seemed fearful, Labrie said no. “We were chatting the way we did all year,” Labrie said, referring to early testimony he gave that the two had a passing, social relationship. Hirschfeld wrote in August 2014, adding that in a new rule, “participation in any game, ‘tradition,’ or practice of sexual solicitation or sexual conquest under any name will be grounds for expulsion.” The hard line echoes the increased seriousness with which colleges and universities are handling sexual-assault allegations. In 2011, the Education Department recommended that alleged victims be required to prove only that it was “more likely than not” that harassment or violence occurred to hold an accused person responsible. Paul’s School, one of eight members of a prep school Ivy League of sorts that boasts as alumni an international roster of senators, congressmen, ambassadors, Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel laureates and other notables.

In July 2014, after the allegations, he wrote that boarding schools need to be equally aware of their “legal and moral responsibilities in this area.” Carney said he didn’t call other witnesses because his cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses “was more than adequate for our purposes.” Throughout his testimony, Labrie spoke often of his mother, referring to her as “momma” and describing how she hugged him in the lobby of the Concord Police building after he finished his interview with detectives. The release went on to say that it is not uncommon for sexual assault victims to freeze during the incident. “We know from neuroscientists and trauma experts that in times of extreme stress, and particularly when a person feels that they are in danger, the brain’s fear response takes over,” the group, the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said in its statement. Paul’s “are not emblematic of our School or our values, our rules, or the people who represent our student body, alumni, faculty, and staff.” After court adjourned Monday, Labrie stood briefly and quietly by his attorney’s side as J.W.

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