A New Hampshire jury has returned with a mixed verdict in the trial of Owen Labrie, charged with raping a 15-year-old classmate at the elite St. Paul’s School. Labrie was convicted of one count of misdemeanor sexual assault, and one count each of endangering a child, a misdemeanor, and using a computer to lure a child, a felony. He was acquitted of the more serious charges, three accounts of aggravated sexual assault, for which he could have faced ten to 20 years in prison.
The jury deliberated for seven hours before returning the verdict, the Associated Press reports, and a reporter covering the trial said Labrie wept as it was read:
The trial cast a light an unflattering light on St. Pauls School, outlining in embarrassing detail the “senior salute,” where male St. Paul’s students vied to see who could cajole sex and sexual favors out of the greatest number of girls.
In interviews with police, Labrie denied raping the 15-year-old, saying he’d put on a condom for what was supposed to be a consensual encounter before experiencing a “divine inspiration,” as he put it, and leaving the room. In testimony, he said the hook-up was consensual, and that having penetrative sex with the girl “wouldn’t have been a good move for me.”
Labrie has not yet been sentenced. As a Class A misdemeanor, sexual assault carries a potential prison term of up to one year and a fine of no more than $2,000. Child luring, a Class B felony, carries a potential jail sentence of three and a half to seven years in state prison, up to five years of probation, and a maximum fine of $4,000.
Update, 5:00 p.m.: The Boston Globe reports that Labrie will be sentenced on October 29. The victim’s family issued a statement reading, in part, “A measure of justice has been served for victims of sexual violence. While he was not convicted on all charges, Owen Labrie was held accountable in some way by a jury of his peers for crimes he committed against our daughter.”
Labrie during the trial. Photo via AP Images