Split Verdict for Student Charged with Felony Rape

St. Paul's School Concord, NH

St. Paul’s School Concord, NH

A New Hampshire jury convicted former prep school student Owen Labrie on five lesser counts in a felony rape trial involving an underage girl. Labrie was 18 years old and a senior when he was accused of raping a 14-year-old female student. The assault happened during “Senior Salute,” a ritual at St. Paul’s boarding school involving older boys scoring with younger girls.

Labrie was convicted of a felony charge and four misdemeanors. The most serious count was the use of an online service or the Internet to seduce, solicit, or entice a child under age 16 in order to commit sexual assault. He also was convicted of three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault and child endangerment.

At his October 29 sentencing, Labrie faces a maximum sentence of 11 years. Labrie, who will have to register as a sex offender, was released on bail with a 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew.

He was acquitted of the more serious counts of aggravated felony sexual assault – punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison – as well as simple assault, a misdemeanor.

CNN’s legal analyst Sunny Hostin noted that the jury had doubts about both Labrie and the victim. According to Hostin, the jury seemed to doubt whether the young girl had consented to the acts. Of course, there’s a legal and moral problem with that thinking. A 14-year-old can’t consent. By law, a 14-year-old is a minor and is not capable of consenting to sexual activity. Any time a person 18 or older has sex with a minor below the age of consent, there is no “consent” and the adult commits a crime.

Dumas Law Group has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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