A former student at elite boarding school St. Paul’s School was not guilty of rape in a sexual assault case that has garnered national attention.
He was found guilty of several misdeamor charges related to sex with a minor.
Over the course of the two-week trial, it became clear that Owen Labrie, now 19 years old, courted a 15-year-old female freshman when he was a senior at St. Paul’s.
She claimed he raped her by forcing sexual intercourse on her without consent, although he denied the two ever had sex.
The case attracted national attention due to the prominence of St. Paul’s, an elite boarding school often compared to an Ivy League university, and the alleged assault’s connection to a longstanding school tradition.
Labrie was charged with multiple misdeamor and felony counts. He was found guilty of using the internet to seduce a minor, a class B felony, as well as several misdeamor charges related to sex with a minor.
The freshman was prominently featured in capital letters on a list of girls for his “senior salute” — “a school ritual in which older students proposition younger ones for as much intimacy as they can get away with: a kiss, touching, or more,” according to The New York Times.
Senior male students allegedly compete to see who could “score” with the most younger females at St. Paul’s, keeping track of the sexual encounters on an online messaging board, according to the Associated Press. Labrie allegedly told police he was “trying to be number one.”
Labrie is accused of courting the female student over email, The Times reports, before taking her to a mechanical room on campus whose key is passed down and shared by students. Prosecutors argued in court that the female student resisted when Labrie attempted to take her underwear off in the closet and, despite that, he then had sex with her, according to The Times.
Labrie was set to study theology at Harvard University after he graduated in 2014, although his acceptance appears to have been rescinded following the rape charges.
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