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

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

Owen Labrie, a former student at the prestigious St. 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.

A GRADUATE of an exclusive US private school was sentenced to a year in jail for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student as part of a tradition in which upperclassman competed to rack up sexual conquests. 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. — Appearing on a video screen, the victim of a sexual assault by an older student at one of the nation’s most exclusive boarding schools asked a judge here on Thursday to make sure her assailant was held accountable. 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. 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.

The end of the trial came in August, after months of deliberation that brought a culture of objectification of young girls at the elite Concord preparatory school into the national spotlight. 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 victim’s mother told the Today Show her then-15-year-old daughter did not know what she was in for when she reluctantly accepted Labrie’s ‘senior salute’ invitation. ‘Her experience was extremely limited with young men, and certainly zero with an 18-year-old man,’ the woman explained. ‘I know she regrets going.’ In her videotaped impact victim statement that was played in court during Labrie’s sentencing Thursday, the former St Paul’s student spoke out the trauma of the assault and how she felt she would have been better off dead.

He was also found guilty of a felony count of using a computer — specifically, Facebook and email — to lure the girl to the encounter on the grounds of the school where annual tuition costs $US55,000 ($77,000). On Friday, the unnamed teen had her mother read a statement on air saying: ‘Going through this legal process, I now understand why victims feel as if they can’t speak up.

Trial testimony and documents presented at the hearing revealed the existence of secret keys, passed among boys, to private spaces on campus, as well a list of girls Labrie had compiled, with the victim’s name in capital letters. 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. Both sides agreed that Labrie, then 18, had invited the girl, then 15, to join him for a “senior salute,” a practice in which younger students met seniors for a romantic encounter before graduation. 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. 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. During the trial, he had argued that Labrie lost a full scholarship to Harvard University and that his reputation was irreparably tarnished as a result of the case. “Owen decided to engage in a ‘senior salute.’ He has tremendous remorse for doing what he did,” Carney said. “Owen looked to St.

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.

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