Home / National News / What We Know About the Alleged 'Senior Salute' Rape at St. Paul's Prep


(CONCORD, N.H.) — A graduate of a highly regarded New Hampshire prep school is headed to court this week over rape charges stemming from an alleged attack there last year.

Owen Labrie, who is now 19 and a former student at St. Paul’s School, is charged in the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl in 2014. He has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony counts.

The accused teen has told police about an alleged competition at the elite school, in which, he says, some seniors competed to have sex with the most younger girls. The investigation is ongoing.

What Happened?

Prosecutors contend that Labrie, who was accepted to Harvard, raped the girl inside a building on the school’s Concord, New Hampshire, campus May 30, 2014, according to ABC News affiliate WMUR-TV in Manchester.

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

The timing would mean that the alleged attack happened two days before his June 1 graduation.

What Did He Tell Police?

Labrie reportedly described a practice called a “senior salute” which involved senior boys attempting to “score” with younger female students, taking their virginity, before the boys graduated.

“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.

How Often Did the “Senior Salute” Happen?

In spite of Labrie’s claims that the practice was widespread, police said that they are still investigating whether there were others involved.

“It’s not evident so far in our investigation that other students were intent on targeting underage females,” O’Malley said. “Their motives may have been more innocent.”

The school said in a statement, “St. Paul’s School has policies in place to ensure that our students are safe, secure, and treated equitably. Our faculty and staff do their utmost to enforce these policies and to guide our students concerning challenging topics.”

The statement added: “Current allegations about our culture are not emblematic of our School or our values, our rules, or the people who represent our student body, alumni, faculty, and staff.”

What Happens Now?

A jury made up of 11 men and 3 women was selected Monday for Labrie’s trial which is expected to begin Tuesday.

Labrie has entered a not guilty plea and questions regarding consent and the actions taken during the attack will likely come up in the trial, but prosecutors said in court on Monday that the incident is a crime “because of her age.”

He faces three counts of aggravated felony sex assault, endangering the welfare of a child and using a computer to set up the alleged attack, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Labrie had been accepted to Harvard but a spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News that Labrie was never enrolled at the university.

“While we do not comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants, Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under certain conditions, which are clearly expressed to students upon their acceptance,” the school’s associate communications director Rachael Dane said in a statement issued to ABC News, noting that decisions could be rescinded “if a student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character.”

Labrie is being represented by J.W. Carney Jr., an attorney who previously defended infamous mobster Whitey Bulger.

Carney and the prosecutor’s office declined to comment to ABC News as of Monday evening.

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