Home / National News / NH Rape Trial Opens with Email Between Girl, Alleged Attacker

 

(CONCORD, N.H.) — Opening arguments and testimony begin Tuesday for a rape case involving an elite New Hampshire prep school that has raised questions about the campus culture.

The defendant, Owen Labrie, 19, of Tunbridge, Vermont, is a graduate of St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. He is accused of raping a 15-year old girl on campus on May 30, 2014, days before he graduated.

Labrie’s attorney, Boston defense attorney J.W. Carney, displayed large printouts of email exchanged between Labrie and the alleged victim before that time, including what he called “romantic” language in French.

“Neither of us were there. None of you were there. What we have to focus on is the evidence,” Carney told the jury Tuesday, asking them to focus on the victim’s words about whether she was a “willing participant.”

He read to the jury a text message conversation that allegedly took place after May 30 in which the victim asks Labrie if he wore a condom and he asks if she was using “the pill,” and the two text “haha” several times.

Labrie has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony accounts and says he did not have sexual intercourse with the student.

Wearing a dark gray blazer and white, button-down shirt, Labrie walked into the courtroom this morning as his eyes swept the packed benches taking in former classmates, family members and national media.

His parents sat in the front row on opposite ends of the bench. They are divorced, according to records.

Officials were forced to set up a standing-room-only section in the back of courthouse.

Lebrie sat next to Boston defense attorney J.W. Carney, and then later stood for the 10-count indictment: four felonies and six misdemeanors, including three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, as well as using a computer on-line service to seduce, lure or entice a child younger than 16.

Merrimack County Superior Court Justice Larry M. Smukler instructed the jurors to “evaluate each charge independently” before prosecutors began opening arguments.

The victim’s name has not been released because of her age and the nature of the crime.

Jury selection Monday included three women and 11 men.

“We believe this is a competition that he was engaged in with some of his fellow students and that it involved attempting to hook up with other female students at the campus,” Lt. Timothy O’Malley of the Concord Police Department told ABC News.

The school, whose alumni include Secretary of State John Kerry and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, said in a statement Monday that the allegations about the school’s culture are “not proven facts, and the judicial system will weigh them and determine how this case is ultimately resolved.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Opening arguments and testimony begin today for a rape case involving an elite New Hampshire prep school that has raised questions about the campus culture.

The defendant, Owen Labrie, 19, of Tunbridge, Vermont, is a graduate of St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. He is accused of raping a 15-year old girl on campus on May 30, 2014, days before he graduated.

Labrie has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony accounts and says he did not have sexual intercourse with the student.

Wearing a dark gray blazer and white, button-down shirt, Labrie walked into the courtroom this morning as his eyes swept the packed benches taking in former classmates, family members and national media.

His parents sat in the front row on opposite ends of the bench. They are divorced, according to records.

Officials were forced to set up a standing-room-only section in the back of courthouse.

Lebrie sat next to Boston defense attorney J.W. Carney, and then later stood for the 10-count indictment: four felonies and six misdemeanors, including three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, as well as using a computer on-line service to seduce, lure or entice a child younger than 16.

Merrimack County Superior Court Justice Larry M. Smukler instructed the jurors to “evaluate each charge independently” before prosecutors began opening arguments.

 

 

 

 

The victim’s name has not been released because of her age and the nature of the crime.

Jury selection Monday included three women and 11 men.

Labrie was interviewed by Concord police, who said he spoke willingly about an alleged practice at the Episcopal school called a “senior salute,” according to the Associated Press. He claims it involved senior boys attempting to “score” with younger female students, taking their virginity, before the boys graduated. Deputy Merrimack County Attorney Catherine Ruffle Monday said the alleged practice is “the context for this entire event,” according to the Associated Press.

 

PHOTO: Owen Labrie, seen here in an undated booking photo, has been charged with the rape of a young student on the Concord, N.H. campus of the prestigious St. Pauls School in May, 2015. 
Concord New Hampshire Police

PHOTO: Owen Labrie, seen here in an undated booking photo, has been charged with the rape of a young student on the Concord, N.H. campus of the prestigious St. Paul’s School in May, 2015.

 

The school, whose alumni include Secretary of State John Kerry and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, said in a statement Monday that the allegations about the school’s culture are “not proven facts, and the judicial system will weigh them and determine how this case is ultimately resolved.”

 

Recent posts in National News