Home / National News / Prep School Rape Trial: Alleged 'Senior Salute' Victim Breaks Down in Tears on Stand


(CONCORD, N.H.) — The student who has accused an upperclassman of raping her while they attended an elite New Hampshire prep school broke down on the stand during her cross examination in court Thursday.

The defense attorney for the accused former St. Paul’s School student, Owen Labrie, was questioning the alleged victim about why she had told a police officer that she was “cloudy” when she sent an email to Labrie agreeing to meet him in May 2014, a meeting where she alleges he raped her.

The girl, whose name will not be publicly released because of the nature of the crime, broke down in court when pressed on why she told the police officer that she was “cloudy” before the alleged rape occurred.

“I was raped!” she said loudly amid tears during Thursday morning’s testimony. “I was violated in so many ways. … I’m sorry, I was cloudy because I was traumatized in this retelling.”

After the court decided to continue with the cross examination, defense attorney J.W. Carney, who has previously defended infamous mobster Whitey Bulger, clarified his questioning that led to her tears.

“When I focused your attention on the email that you sent to Owen on May 29, which was the day before you got together with him, you said you had sent it because you were cloudy, and I asked you why were you cloudy the day before,” Carney said.

Labrie, who is now 19, is charged with multiple felonies relating to the sexual encounter. He has entered a not-guilty plea and maintained that they did not have intercourse.

Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle said in court on Tuesday that this encounter was part of a “senior salute,” a tradition at the prep school in Concord, New Hampshire. Ruffle said that the “senior salute” practice was largely intended as a way for graduating seniors “to be with someone that they might have wanted to be with throughout” high school, and could include activities like walking to class together or kissing but “it might include a little bit more.”

She then said that some students believed Labrie and some of his friends had turned the tradition into a competition.

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