Former Prep School Student Owen Labrie Was Released From Jail For Good Behavior In His Sexual Assault Case
Owen Labrie was accused of luring a 15-year-old student to the top of a building at the elite St. Paul’s School in 2014 and raping her.
The elite New Hampshire prep school student who was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old classmate was released from jail months early for good behavior.
Owen Labrie, now 23, was found guilty of several misdemeanor sexual assault charges, including using “computer services” to lure Chessy Prout, a fellow St. Paul’s student, to the math and science building at the prestigious New Hampshire private school in May 2014 and sexually assaulting her. As a result, he had to register as a sex offender.
However, he was acquitted of the three most serious felony charges in a case that thrust the revered prep school and its traditions into the national conversation about sexual assault on campuses.
As part of a ritual known as the “senior salute,” St. Paul’s graduating class invites sophomores and juniors out on dates. During Labrie’s trial, prosecutors argued that it was a thinly veiled attempt for senior boys to compete with one another for how many girls they could sleep with.
In 2015, a judge sentenced Labrie to 12 months in prison for the more minor sexual assault charges. However, after Labrie appealed his conviction, a judge suspended his sentence and allowed the former senior to remain under curfew at his mother’s house. Not even a year later, the court determined that Labrie violated his curfew and he spent two months in jail.
Deploying several defense teams, Labrie has repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to petition the judge to shorten his sentence and drop his convictions. The 23-year-old was supposed to serve the last 10 months of his sentence, but he was discharged for good behavior.
His release comes weeks after the New Hampshire Supreme Court denied his request for a new trial based on arguments that his attorneys had failed to properly defend him against the computer charge.
“Owen is happy to be home with his family. He will be settling in and working on rebuilding his life,” his lawyers said in a statement to ABC News. “He’d like to thank the friends and family that have stood by him and supported him all these years.”
Labrie’s lawyer did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.
Meanwhile, Prout has become an activist for survivors of sexual assault. She cofounded the nonprofit I Have the Right To, which provides support, resources, and advocacy for victims, and published a book last spring about her journey.
“Every survivor’s story is different, but we all have a lifetime of healing ahead of us. I will continue to fight for the rights of survivors so that we can live without fear of retribution for pursuing justice,” Prout said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “I hope that schools, institutions and communities will hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes so that victims and survivors can continue to live their lives and truly thrive.”
After extensive bullying, Prout left St. Paul’s and, during an interview in March at Bloomberg’s Equality Summit, called her school’s response and lack of support “an extreme betrayal” and an example of how high-profile private schools choose reputation and donors over students.
“I’ve been disappointed so much by the adults around me I decided it was time for me to take a stand,” she told the crowd. “I don’t have to be the victim anymore. I don’t have to be silent. I will not let them silence me.”