Owen Labrie, the 19-year-old graduate of the elite St. Paul’s School tried for raping a 15-year-old classmate, must register as a sex offender after a judge upheld his felony conviction for using a computer to lure a minor.
In August, Labrie was convicted of two misdemeanors and one felony and was acquitted of more serious charges, including three accounts of aggravated sexual assault. His trial exposed the practice known as the “senior salute,” in which graduating boys competed to have sex with younger girls prior to graduating. Labrie admitted to participating in the game and acknowledged that he had sent the victim multiple emails asking her to “hook up.” The girl agreed to meet Labrie and consented to kissing. According to the original affidavit, “they kissed, then Labrie allegedly began to pull off her underwear. She resisted several times and twice told him ‘no.’”
Immediately after his conviction, Labrie’s lawyers asked the New Hampshire trial judge to dismiss the felony conviction which could require him to register as a sex offender for life. The Associated Press reports:
“If he had merely called the 15-year-old on the telephone or spoken to her in person, there would be no additional crime,” his lawyers wrote. “Yet because he prearranged the encounter through email and Facebook, he will be subjected to the scrutiny and humiliation of sex offender registration for the rest of his life.”
The judge, however, upheld the conviction, accepting the prosecution’s argument that Labrie, “used the internet to exploit [the girl’s] youth and innocence in an attempt to lure her into sexual activities.”
The AP notes that Labrie can petition to be removed from the sex offender registry in 15 years. His lawyers said they will appeal the decision. In the meantime, he still awaits sentencing.
Image via AP.