A former prep school student convicted of sexually assaulting an underage girl when they both were students at an elite New Hampshire preparatory school was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail and probation.
Owen Labrie, 20, was told by Judge Larry Smukler that he would do “a year in the House of Corrections and probation. That’s the bottom line.”
Smukler also required Labrie to undergo another psychosexual risk evaluation, which would help determine how at risk he would be to reoffend.
He underwent a voluntary evaluation in August, which reportedly found that he was at a low risk to reoffend.
A jury that deliberated for eight hours after a two-week trial in August had found Labrie guilty of four misdemeanors relating to sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He was also found guilty of a single felony count of using a computer to seduce a minor under the age of 16.
He was found not guilty of simple assault and not guilty of three felony counts of sexual assault, the most serious charges against him.
“I am sentencing you for your convictions,” Smukler told Labrie, noting that he did not take into consideration the charges he was found not guilty of when he made his sentencing decision.
“I observe and believe that you are neither the angel that is portrayed by your counsel in the attached letters in your memorandum, nor the devil that is portrayed by the state. And I am sentencing you as human being that has been convicted of five crimes,” Smukler said.
Labrie was 18 at the time when he invited a 15-year-old girl who also attended St. Paul’s School to join him for a “senior salute,” a so-called tradition on campus where seniors competed to sleep with underclassmen.
She accepted his invitation and the pair went to a locked room on the top floor of the science building, the girl testified, saying that Labrie penetrated her with his fingers, tongue and penis, even after she told him to stop.
"Did you think that when you went on the 'Senior Salute' that something like this would happen?" a prosecutor asked the girl during the trial.
"No way," she replied.
The girl did not report the alleged rape for several days because she didn’t want to ruin her sister’s graduation, which was that same weekend, prosecutors said.
Labrie said he never had sex with the girl, but acknowledged that he had bragged to friends that he did. He was bound for Harvard on a full scholarship, where he planned to take divinity school classes.
Prior to his sentencing, Labrie’s victim asked the court in a video statement for “justice for myself, but for others as well.”
“I don’t want to feel imprisoned for the rest of my life,” she said. “I want to be safe again.”
Labrie did not address the court.