Year in jail for former US prep school student in sex assault trial

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘You are a very good liar': Prep school student smirks during rape case sentencing as judge gives him just one year in jail and releases him on bail to appeal… but he will have to register as a sex offender for life.

A former student at an elite New Hampshire prep school who was convicted of sexually assaulting an underage classmate was sentenced to one year in jail and five years of probation this afternoon. Owen Labrie was a Harvard-bound student leader, a devout scholarship student and a role model, who also exchanged filthy, denigrating messages to his friends about the younger girls at his school, including about one particular 15-year-old girl.

Owen Labrie, 20, will serve his sentence in a house of corrections instead of a state prison because his crimes were misdemeanors and he was acquitted on all felony charges. Paul’s School in June 2014 and was Harvard-bound when the then 18-year-old was arrested and charged with the rape of a 15-year-old girl at the school.

Labrie was convicted in August on five counts — one of which is a felony — relating to a sexual encounter he had in 2014 with an underage student at St. Labrie, an aspiring divinity student, could be seen crossing himself in a gesture of prayer as he waited for Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler to issue his sentence, which he did nearly three hours into the proceedings.

The encounter, which Labrie maintained was consensual, exposed a school tradition called the “Senior Salute,” in which upperclassmen aim to have sex with underclassmen. Labrie, who denied having sex with the freshman, faced up to seven years in prison for the computer enticement felony, and a year on each of the misdemeanors. Labrie had invited the girl on a Senior Salute, a tradition at the prep school in which seniors invite younger classmates to spend time together before graduation.

Labrie’s attorneys submitted a memorandum on Wednesday asking for leniency and pledging that he would receive counseling, perform community service and not contact the victim or the school, according to the Concord Monitor. “This scarlet letter will even accompany him in retirement, where there will still be restrictions on where he can live, or what he can do with his grandchildren,” Labrie’s attorney J.W. The defendant was a ringleader in this game.” “There is another side to Owen Labrie and I would assert on this occasion that the victim didn’t know about that other side,” she said. “She didn’t know she was a target on his list.” “Feign intimacy … then stab them in the back,” Ruffle said about a Facebook chat Labrie had with a friend before the alleged sexual assault. “I lie in bed with them… and pretend like I’m in love.” • Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? The question of what happened there was at the center of the trial—an innocent, but hot-and-heavy hookup as Labrie described, or a horrifying sexual assault that left the victim frozen and numb, as she testified. Under New Hampshire law, anyone convicted of a felony sex crime must register for life as a sex offender, though Labrie can petition to be removed from the list 15 years after he finishes his sentence.

The victim of the assault chose not to attend Labrie’s sentencing but had her videotaped impact statement played in court, saying that she has spent the past year and a half living in fear ‘of everything and everyone’. ‘What he did to me made me feel like I didn’t belong on this planet… like I would be better off dead,’ the victim said in her prepared statement. ‘Taking a shower, or getting dressed, I feel like no amount of cleaning or showering will make me feel clean again,’ she said, adding that she now has to live with the stigma of being a sex assault victim. The court also heard from the victim’s mother, who decried the bullying she said their entire family have been subjected to at the hands of her daughter’s detractors, including having the girl’s photo and home address shared on social media.

Labrie had been cleared of felony rape charges, it was clear the sex “was not consensual.” The case 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. The sentencing, in a packed, unseasonably warm courtroom reminiscent of the two weeks in August when the case was tried, detailed the disruption of two young lives 17 months ago.

Carney’s memo includes photos of Labrie as a boy and written pleas for leniency from former teachers and classmates, as well as a reverend who praised his extraordinary ‘depth of theological and spiritual curiosity.’ Dr. Paul’s and has been living in almost constant fear since the assault. “The evidence was very clear this was not a date,” she said. “This was a mission for him. 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. Jurors reached their verdict after seven hours of deliberations last month and Labrie was seen sobbing in court as the guilty verdicts were read by the forewoman.

But they were misdemeanors, rather than felonies, because of New Hampshire’s Romeo and Juliet exemption, which gives lesser penalties when there are age differences of four years or less. Labrie testified the two had consensual sexual contact that stopped short of intercourse, while his accuser broke down on the stand as she recounted all the ways she had allegedly been violated by the defendant. Paul’s because of his sinister slaymaking,” her mother told the court. “My little girl stood up to this entitled young man,” he said. “She stood up to the entitled culture at St. Though he pushed back his enrollment from the fall of 2014 because of the charges and trial, it remains unclear if Harvard has ever rescinded their offer of admission. ‘Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under certain conditions, which are clearly expressed to students upon their acceptance,’ Rachael Dane, a spokeswoman for Harvard, said in a statement.

Paul’s rapist even though the jury rejected that moniker,” Carney said. “His life has been one of trauma trying to deal with these allegations and the emotion of the trial.” As the sentencing approached, Carney also accused prosecutors of overreaching in bringing the luring-by-computer count, saying the charge was intended to protect young people from adult predators who use bogus identities online. Labrie was able to afford Carney’s services it was revealed earlier this year by writing a letter to the parents of some of his classmates asking for help with his legal defense fund. WMUR reported at the time this almost caused Labrie to wind up in jail for violating the conditions of his bail as he was not supposed to communicate with individuals from the school. Labrie behaved like a predator when he used a computer to arrange the encounter, in which he led her to a secluded room at the top of a math and science building on St. 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.

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 girl testified that the sexual contact started as consensual and then advanced to intercourse despite her saying “no.” Judge Smukler said Thursday the girl hadn’t been “sufficiently mature” to handle a sexual situation. “She was in over her head and that’s very clear,” the judge said.

Paul’s Rector Michael Hirschfeld said the school remains “committed to teaching our students our core values—that they live honorably, respectfully, and never forget to be kind.” In letters to the court, seeking leniency for Mr. He was raised in Tunbridge, Vt., by his mother, who is a public-school teacher, and his father, who is a landscaper and freelance editor, according to his lawyer. 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.

Sharon Carson, a Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Sex crimes are difficult to craft punishments for, given that every incident can be different,” said Mr.

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