Former New Hampshire student in prep school rape case released from jail

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 23:26:04-04

A former New Hampshire prep school student convicted in the sexual assault of a fellow student was released from jail for good behavior Monday morning after serving eight months of his 12-month sentence, according to his attorney.

Owen Labrie, a former St. Paul’s School student, was convicted in 2015 of a felony — the use of an online service to seduce, solicit or entice a child under 16 in order to commit sexual assault — and other charges stemming from an encounter at the school in Concord during the previous year. He was acquitted of more serious charges, including aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Labrie, 23, was picked up by family at New Hampshire’s Merrimack County jail following his release, his attorney Jaye Rancourt told CNN. He is a registered sex offender in the state of Vermont where his family resides as per his sentencing requirements.

While appealing his conviction in 2016, Labrie violated his bail curfew conditions. A judge had previously suspended the one-year jail sentence while Labrie appealed the decision, but reinstated it as a result of the violation.

“Owen is happy to be home with his family. He is settling in and will be working on rebuilding his life,” Rancourt told CNN. “He’d like to thank the friends and family who have stood by him all these years. Owen had graduated from high school when he was accused of this.”

Labrie’s trial drew nationwide coverage and brought attention to the now-161-year-old elite school, the alma mater of former Secretary of State John Kerry and half a dozen members of Congress.

A campus tradition known as the “senior salute” came under fire for allegedly encouraging seniors to have sexual encounters — ranging from kissing to intercourse — with as many younger female students as possible. The school said in 2015 that it never condoned sexual misconduct and that any game of sexual conquest was grounds for expulsion.

Labrie was an 18-year-old senior and his victim was 15. She testified that she didn’t object to him kissing her but after he began to grope her she told him to stop. Then he raped her, she said.

The former prep school student denied intercourse but told the court he bragged and lied to his friends that he had sex with the girl after the encounter.

On June 7, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously denied Labrie’s appeal for a new trial.