Owen Labrie, a now 20-year-old former student at the elite St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, was sentenced today to one year in jail plus probation after being convicted in August of having sex with an underage student at the school.
In August, Labrie was convicted on three misdemeanor sexual assault charges and one felony charge of “using a computer to lure a minor for sexual contact,” but he was found not guilty of felony rape. New Hampshire Superior Court Judge Lawrence Smukler could have sentenced Labrie to up to 11 years in prison, and the prosecution asked for three-and-a-half to seven years with sex offender treatment. Judge Smukler noted while handing down the sentencing that he did not believe the “sexual penetration” with the victim was “consensual.” Labrie will have to register as a sex offender.
Judge says that jury's acquittal of Labrie on rape charges doesn't mean the sex was consensual. "This was not consensual."— Jess Bidgood (@jessbidgood) October 29, 2015
Police began an investigation into Labrie’s conduct in June 2014 after the victim—who was a 15-year-old freshman at the time—reported Labrie raped her as part of the school’s annual, unofficial sex competition, the “Senior Salute.” Though Labrie claimed throughout the trial that he never had sex with the victim during their Senior Salute encounter, Facebook messages and texts showed he told friends he “pulled every trick in the book” to get her to go from “‘no’ to ‘bone.’”
In the sentencing hearing today, the prosecution revealed more instances where Labrie messaged his friends about “slaying” girls, in order to show Labrie’s attitudes toward the opposite sex. In one, he complained to a friend that a girl turned him down for sex by writing this:
she turned me down...fucking hate forbidden fruit...fuckin girls so much...another dumb cum-bucket struck from my nut sucking, suck it slut, slut fucking bucket list...
The prosecution, the victim, and the victim’s parents all asserted at the sentencing hearing that Labrie has shown no remorse for his actions.
Labrie’s victim did not attend the hearing in person, but the prosecution played a recording of her victim impact statement for the court. “In the past almost year and half since I’ve been sexually assaulted, I’ve led some of the scariest, hardest days of my life,” she said. “[I’m] living in constant fear of everything and everyone. ...What he did to me made me feel like I didn’t belong on this planet and that I would be better off dead.”
Before his sentencing, Labrie’s lawyer J.W. Carney, Jr. filed a sentencing memo asking the judge for probation, claiming that any further punishment for Labrie would be “cruel.” According to The New York Times’ Jess Bidgood, Carney also included in his memo photos of Labrie as a child and from when he visited Harvard after being accepted. (Harvard revoked his acceptance in the wake of the trial.)