Owen Labrie St. Paul's rape case: Acquitted of sexual assault, guilty of statutory rape.

Former New Hampshire Prep Student Acquitted of Sexual Assault, Convicted of Other Felony

Former New Hampshire Prep Student Acquitted of Sexual Assault, Convicted of Other Felony

The Slatest
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Aug. 28 2015 3:41 PM

Former New Hampshire Prep Student Acquitted of Sexual Assault, Convicted of Other Felony

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Owen Labrie during the announcement of the verdict in his case.

Screen shot/ABC

Former New Hampshire prep student Owen Labrie was acquitted of felony sexual assault charges involving a 15-year-old former fellow student Friday but convicted of statutory rape and of a felony charge of using a computer to "entice a child under the age of 16." Labrie's trial had involved accusations that he penetrated the younger student without her consent as part of a "Senior Salute" tradition—a tradition, more or less, in which seniors try to persuade younger students to have sex—at the prestigious St. Paul's school. From the AP:

The young man was acquitted of the most serious charges against him — three counts of felony rape, each punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison. But he was found guilty of three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault, using a computer to lure a minor for sex, and child endangerment.
Essentially, the jury cleared Labrie of forcible rape but concluded he did, in fact, have intercourse, oral sex and other sexual contact with the girl, and for that, it found him guilty of statutory rape, because she was underage and could not legally consent.

The accuser had testified in court that Labrie had penetrated her even after she said "No, no, no, keep it up here" during what had previously been a consensual encounter.

Labrie will face up to 11 years in prison during his sentencing and will reportedly have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Update, 2:50 p.m.: Some outlets, such as Boston.com, are not describing the misdemeanor sexual assault charges that Labrie was convicted of as statutory rape per se—in New Hampshire, the site says, the term "statutory rape" usually refers specifically to felony sexual assault laws that apply if the perpetrator is more than four years older than the victim. Labrie was not four years older than his accuser, so he was instead convicted under a state law (one that falls under the colloquial understanding of "statutory rape" if not the specific New Hampshire sense of the term) which says any sexual contact with an individual under 16 is misdemeanor sexual assault even if it is consensual because anyone younger than 16 is too young to consent.