The Latest: Girl in prep school case says she lives in fear

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Owen Labrie Seeks Probation In NH Prep School Sex Assault.

A teenaged girl said she felt “that I would be better off dead” after being sexually assaulted by a fellow prep school student in what prosecutors have described as a rampant sexual conquest among students. CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The latest on the sentencing of a former student at an elite prep school who was convicted of sexually assaulting a younger classmate (all times local): A lawyer for a former student at an elite New Hampshire prep school convicted of sexual assault says the sexual contact between the senior and freshman was consensual.

Owen Labrie didn’t just make one bad choice the night he invited a 15-year-old girl to a secluded room on his prep school campus to have sex with her, prosecutors said Thursday.A former New Hampshire prep-school student cleared of raping an underage classmate, but convicted of lesser charges, will be sentenced Thursday in Concord, N.H.

Owen Labrie’s victim made the emotional statements in a video played before a New Hampshire courtroom Thursday where prosecutors asked that the 20-year-old be sentenced to 3 ½ to 7 years in prison. He had a plan for how he’d seduce and then trash the girls on his “Senior Salute” list, prosecutors said. “Feign intimacy … then stab them in the back … THROW EM IN THE DUMPSTER,” he wrote in a Facebook chat with a friend in February 2014, nearly four months before the sexual assault for which he was convicted. “i lie in bed with them …. and pretend like i’m in love.” Merrimack County prosecutors released their pre-sentencing memorandum Thursday on the St. Owen Labrie, 20, faces the possibility of lifetime registration as a sex offender in a case that is stirring debate over whether computer-related laws intended to stop adults preying on minors are stretched too far when used to police the increasingly digital way college and high-school students communicate. Paul’s School graduate, hours before Judge Larry Smukler will determine Labrie’s punishment for his convictions on three misdemeanor counts of having sex with an underage girl, endangering children and a felony charge of using a computer to seduce the girl. Paul School’s campus, showed no emotion. “I was walking to a car and the entire boys’ hockey team, the boys’ varsity hockey team, stood up, stared and pointed at me as I walked alone down the street on campus,” she said.

The former captain of the soccer team and aspiring divinity student from Tunbridge, Vermont, was charged with rape, accused of forcing himself on the girl in a darkened mechanical room in 2014, when he was 18 and about to graduate. Carney, called lifetime sex-offender registration “cruel” and a “scarlet letter,” and asked for probation at the sentencing at Merrimack County Superior Court. Once fulfilling that accomplishment, he was able to strike her name off a list of other female students he hoped to sleep with before he graduated that spring, Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle said.

Carney Jr., said Labrie already has been punished — shunned by his alma mater and losing a full scholarship to Harvard, dashing his dream to attend the college’s divinity school. Labrie’s online communications showed an “alarming glimpse of calculated, strategic behavior” and said he shouldn’t be released into the community without evaluation by the sex-offender program at the state prison and completion of treatment.

In a videotaped statement played in court Thursday, the girl, now 17, said she was subjected to verbal and physical retaliation from other students after her return to St. Edmund Piper, a clinical psychologist who has been treating Labrie for 13 months, called him “remarkable” and “mature beyond his years intellectually and responsibility-wise.” A former female classmate called him “the kindest, most brilliant and most authentic friend I have,” adding that his conviction has not changed her opinion. He bawled in court when his verdict was read. “I am asking you, please, to give him a chance to proceed on with his life and become the productive, spiritual, decent hard-working man of service I know he is destined to be without the stigma of registration or incarceration.” Holland said her son, who was set to start at Harvard’s divinity college this year on full scholarship, became suicidal as he saw “so many years of dedication and hard work dissolve before him.” Labrie’s friends shared templates of messages used to seduce girls, passed down keys for secluded rooms on campus and worshipped an alumnus named “Slaymaker” for his sexual reputation, prosecutors said.

Paul’s has long educated members of America’s elite, counting among its alumni Secretary of State John Kerry, Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners. They were misdemeanors, rather than felonies, because of New Hampshire’s Romeo and Juliet exemption, which gives lesser penalties when there age differences of four years or less. Labrie acknowledged that his encounter with the girl was part of a “senior salute,” which he portrayed as a campus rite in which graduating seniors seek out younger classmates for trysts that can include sexual intercourse. “The Internet was used to lure the particular victim,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public policy for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Labrie’s punishment aren’t unusual, the outcome points to a larger discussion about whether sex-offender laws are in line with the rapid increase in technology for communication, particularly among younger people. “It’s something lawmakers are going to have to confront,” said Cynthia Calkins, an associate professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who has criticized sex-offender laws as being adopted too broadly without enough empirical evidence showing they work. Paul’s, one of the nation’s most exclusive boarding schools, and illustrated how allegations of campus sexual assault are widening beyond the colleges and universities.

The law “may need to be tweaked” because more is known now about how predators use the Internet, and how people use technology to communicate, said New Hampshire State Sen. Welch, who is vice chairman of the House’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, said Wednesday that he planned to contact his committee members about “whether or not there should be a correction” to the law.

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