Ex-Star Student At NH Boarding School Gets One-Year Term For Sex Assault


Owen Labrie, 20, once a star student at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, one of the nation’s most exclusive boarding schools, was sentenced to a year in prison for the sexual assault of a younger student in a case that got national attention, the New York Times reports. Appearing on a video screen, the victim asked the judge yesterday to make sure Labrie was held accountable for a crime that, she said, had left her numb. Labrie must also register as a sex offender. He is free on bail pending an appeal. The hearing closed a dramatic trial that illuminated the sexual culture among some students at St. Paul's School. Trial testimony and documents revealed the existence of secret keys, passed among boys, to private spaces on campus, as well as a list of girls Labrie had compiled, with the victim's name in capital letters.

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. The trial jury's acquittal of Labrie on the main rape charges led his lawyer, J. W. Carney Jr., to call the case “a consensual encounter between two teenagers.” Judge Larry Smukler said it was not. The jury found that the girl had not successfully communicated a lack of consent, but “that does not mean the victim consented to the sexual penetration,” he said. “Indeed, it is clear from the impact of this crime that she did not.” The judge told Labrie, “In some ways, you're a very good liar.”

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