Owen Labrie, now 20, was released from jail on Monday, May 16. Labrie, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old classmate at the elite St. Paul’s School in 2014, was sent to jail in March after violating the terms of his bail. Though he was initially sentenced to a year, Merrimack County Judge Larry Smukler ruled on Monday that Labrie would be released early.
The Boston Globe reports:
Labrie’s lawyer, Jaye Rancourt, said his incarceration had a profound impact on him.
“For someone who’s never been incarcerated one hour, two months can be a very long time,” Rancourt said.
According to his lawyer, Labrie has spent most of his time in solitary confinement with only one to three hours a day outside of his jail cell. Rancourt indicated that Labrie was in solitary for his own protection. “It was very clear his safety was in question,” Rancourt told the court. Apparently, Labrie’s time in jail was also a time for reflection:
“He’s gone through a wave of emotion, from being sad about his situation, being scared, being nervous, being bored at times.”
His time behind bars made Labrie realized how privileged and supported he is, Rancourt told the court. He would not pose a danger to the public if released, she said.
In March, Labrie had his bail revoked and was sentenced to one year in prison after violating the terms of his bail on seven separate occasions. Labrie, who was out on bail while awaiting the appeal of his 2014 conviction, was caught when he conducted an impromptu interview with Vice contributor Susan Zalkind on a Boston-bound train. Labrie told Zalkind that he was visiting his girlfriend, a student at Harvard, but told later prosecutors he was traveling to Boston for independent study.
Regardless of the reasons, prosecutors in Labrie’s bail violation case noted that Zalkind’s live tweets of the interview were sent around 2:15 p.m. According to the terms of Labrie’s bail, he was required to be at his home in Tunbridge, Vermont, every night between 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. At the day in question, Labrie was more than 150 miles from his home, which was a clear violation the terms of his bail.
The Globe reports:
When his bail was revoked, Labrie appealed [the judge’s] decision, and the New Hampshire Supreme Court urged the lower court last week to consider whether it could come up with reasonable conditions of release “now that the court’s revocation order has been in effect for sufficient time to presumably impress upon the defendant the importance of strictly complying with all bail conditions.”
Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle seems unswayed by Labrie’s recognition of his “privilege.” She told the court that only thing that’s changed since Labrie’s bail was revoked is that “the defendant doesn’t like it in jail.”
As part of his release agreement, Labrie will now have to wear a GPS monitor.
Image via AP.