Heartbreaking details emerge during sentencing at elite boarding school statutory rape case

Owen Labrie St. Paul's School MugshotScreenshot Via YouTube, ABC NewsOwen Labrie’s mugshot

Heartbreaking details emerged Thursday during the sentencing of Owen Labrie, a former student of the prestigious St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, for statutory rape.

The 16-year-old victim described the past 17 months as the “scariest, hardest days of my life,” in a pre-recorded video shown to a packed courtroom, according to the Concord Monitor.

Convicted of misdemeanour statutory rape, the 20-year-old Labrie will spend a year in jail. Labrie must also serve 5 years probation and register as a sex offender — a mark that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

“You’re going to do a year in the House of Corrections and probation,” the presiding judge, Larry M. Smukler, told Labrie, according to The New York Times. “That’s the bottom line.”

The case centres around the traditional “senior salute” at the elite St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, where outgoing senior boys try to cajole younger students into romantic encounters.

According to ABC News, the prosecution told the court the “salute” was a way for graduating seniors to “be with someone they might have wanted to be with throughout high school,” and that these encounters could include, walking to class together, kissing, or a “little bit more.”

Exposed in private text and Facebook messages between Labrie and his friends, the “salute” appeared to involve more than walking to class together or kissing.

Labrie often referred to himself as the “slaymaker,” and allegedly wrote that his preferred treatment of girls was to, “feign intimacy… then stab them in the back… THROW EM IN THE DUMPSTER… I lie in bed with them… pretend like I’m in love,” according to the Concord Monitor.

During the incident in question, then-18-year-old Labrie invited a 15-year-old freshman student up to the roof of a campus building Labrie had access to, according to
The New York Times.

Initially, the freshman student wanted to decline Labrie’s offer, but eventually acquiesced — thinking it “would be cool,” to go to a new spot with “one of the most popular boys on campus,” she said in court, according to The New York Times. She said she never expected to do anything more than kiss.

Soon after they met, The New York Times reports, the girl alleged Labrie tried to remove her underwear and then bit, spat on, and penetrated her without any indication of consent.

“I feel like I had objected as much as I could at the time,” the victim stated in court, according to The New York Times, “and other than that I felt completely powerless.”

In a pre-recorded video shown to a packed courtroom yesterday, the victim said she struggles with flashbacks and nausea regarding the incident, “where I keep thinking to myself, why didn’t I kick or push or scream or do anything? Why couldn’t I move?”

“What he did to me made me feel like I didn’t belong on this planet,” the victim, said according to the Concord Monitor, “and that I would be better off dead than have to deal with the terrible things that every day were thrown in my direction.”

The victim, who described feeling physically and verbally violated by the defence’s cross-examination, according to the New York Times, said, “It’s terrible to say, but I know why people don’t come forward.”

She added: “To this day, I still feel numb.”

Business Insider has reached out to J.W. Carney, Labrie’s defence attorney for comment, and will update this story with any response we receive.

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