Victim of St Paul's Sexual Assault Sheds Her Anonymity: 'I'm Not Ashamed'
A teen who was sexually assaulted at a prestigious New Hampshire prep school made national headlines has identified herself, two years after her world was turned upside down.
Chessy Prout was just 15 when she accused Owen Labrie of rape following the so-called "Senior Salute" at St. Paul's School in Concord in 2014.
On Tuesday, Prout revealed herself to the world on NBC's TODAY show.
"I want everyone to know that I am not afraid or ashamed anymore, and I never should have been,'' Prout told Savannah Guthrie.
Prout said she met with Labrie on a campus rooftop after he approached her via email for the "Senior Salute," a campus "tradition" designed to pair seniors with underage students. The encounter began with consensual kissing before she claims it escalated into rape.
A jury found Labrie not guilty of felony rape. He was convicted in 2015 of misdemeanor counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
"It's been two years now since the whole ordeal, and I feel ready to stand up and own what happened to me and make sure other people, other girls and boys, don't need to be ashamed, either,'' Prout said.
As Labrie, now 20, remains out on bail pending appeal, Prout told TODAY that she hopes he gets help.
"I hope he learns,'' Prout said. "And that's all I can ever hope for in any sort of process like this. Because if he doesn't learn, he will do it to another young woman."
Meanwhile, Prout's family is geared up for a legal fight against St. Paul's School, which they say failed to protect their daughter.
In response to the civil suit filed in June, St. Paul's School said the following:
"As was the case when the survivor was a student here and subsequently, the School admires her courage and condemns unkind behavior toward her. We feel deeply for her and her family. We have always placed the safety and well-being of our students first and are confident that the environment and culture of the school have supported that.
"We categorically deny that there ever existed at the School a culture or tradition of sexual assault. However, there’s no denying the survivor’s experience caused us to look anew at the culture and environment. This fresh look has brought about positive changes at the School."