The parents of the unnamed girl who was sexually assaulted by Owen Labrie at St. Paul’s School filed suit against the institution in June for “fostering, permitting and condoning a tradition of ritualized statutory rape.” They’re referring to the “Senior Salute” tradition, in which senior boys attempt to have sex with as many younger girls as they can.
On August 11, St Paul’s School filed a “partial objection and conditional assent to plaintiffs’ motion for leave to proceed under pseudonyms.” The Boston Globe reported the motion with the headline “St. Paul’s demands identity of Owen Labrie’s victim to be made public.” You better believe the school is pissed about that, and other “coordinated media attacks,” as they write in a letter shared with alumni passed on to Jezebel:
The letter is written by Archibald Cox Jr. (the second of his name), and attempts to explain what could be perhaps seen as a gag order or threat against the victim. He writes:
We did not oppose the family’s use of pseudonyms, and certainly did not request that the young woman’s name be made public. Rather, we agreed to the family’s use of pseudonyms during pretrial phases of litigation, provided they agreed to stop improperly attacking the School’s character in statements to the press...
No at the School has any desire or intention to reveal the identity of the young woman or her family. However, we have taken steps to ensure the case is fairly considered in court proceedings and not through media attacks.
Reading the actual motion, it does seem as though they are suggesting they have certain terms that are tied to the victim’s identity. It reads in part:
The School recognizes that J.D. has an interest in protecting her identity. However, in balancing this interest against the prejudice to the School and the public interest in disclosure, the following commonsense measures should be taken to mitigate the prejudice to the School and ensure the fundamental fairness of a proceeding in which one party is allowed to remain anonymously:
a. The parties, their counsel, and others acting on their behalf shall refrain from making any further public statements about this matter or the facts underlying it until the litigation is completed;
b. The School shall be entitled to identify Plaintiffs and J.D. during the discovery and fact investigation process to third parties and during depositions, and Plaintiffs shall bear the cost of redacting any documents Case 1:16-cv-00225-PB Document 14 Filed 08/11/16 Page 2 of 4 - 3 - filed with the Court bearing Plaintiffs’ and J.D.’s names or personally identifiable information; and
c. Plaintiffs and J.D. should not be allowed to proceed under pseudonyms at the trial of this matter.
The motion also summarizes that it wishes to deny, in part, “Plaintiff’s Motion to Proceed Under Pseudonyms,” and “Plaintiffs and J.D. shall not proceed under pseudonyms at the trial of this matter.”