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NOT GUILTY: New Hampshire High School Senior Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 15-Yr-Old Freshman Student, Aquitted Of First Degree Rape

August 28, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
NOT GUILTY: New Hampshire High School Senior Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 15-Yr-Old Freshman Student, Aquitted Of First Degree Rape

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The former senior at a New Hampshire prep school accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old freshman student was acquitted of felony rape on Friday, but was found guilty of misdemeanor sex charges regarding as part of a tradition of sexual conquest days before he graduated.

The jury of nine men and three women deliberated over a two day period, and on Friday found Owen Labrie, 19, of Tunbridge, Vermont, not guilty of raping the girl in an academic building at St. Paul’s School two days before he graduated last year.

He was found guilty of three misdemeanor sex assault charges.

Labrie collapsed in tears as the verdict was read in a Concord, N.H., courtroom.

“Today, a measure of justice has been served for victims of sexual violence,” the accuser’s family said in a statement. “While he was not convicted on all charges, Owen Labrie was held accountable in some way by a jury of his peers for crimes he committed against our daughter.”

“There is no joy in this outcome, however, as our daughter can never get back what she has lost nor can St. Paul’s School ever be our community again,” the family said.

The statement also accused St. Paul’s of allowing and fostering a “toxic culture” that left their daughter and other students at risk to sexual violence.

“We trusted the school to protect her and it failed us.” the family said. “We continue to feel anger and disappointment for the lack of character and integrity that the young men of St. Paul’s School showed, laughing and joking with Owen Labrie at graduation about ‘slaying’ our daughter. Both the school and these young men should bear the shame of these crimes along with Owen Labrie.”

The jury deliberated 8 hours over two days.

Labrie was cleared of three felony sex assault charges that carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors say the then-18-year-old Labrie raped the 15-year-old as part of a practice called Senior Salute, in which graduating students try to romance and have sex with underclassmen.

Labrie testified the two had consensual sexual contact that stopped short of intercourse.

Lawyers on both sides criticized St. Paul’s School and the crude tradition in their closing arguments Thursday.

Fox News

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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