Home / National News / NH Prep School Student Owen Labrie Could Be Freed on Bail as Court Considers Request for New Trial

 

(CONCORD, N.H.) — Former prep school student Owen Labrie, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a classmate last August, could be set free on bail from his 12-month jail sentence after the New Hampshire Supreme Court asked the trial court that sentenced Labrie to prison for violating his curfew to reconsider its bail revocation, court documents show.

While the state Supreme Court said in an order that it respected the trial court’s analysis of why Labrie’s bail should be revoked, it asked the trial court judge to reconsider because, among other things, “the violations of bail conditions … while serious, are not indicative of an inclination toward further criminal conduct.” Labrie is currently in the process of requesting a new trial based upon “alleged ineffectiveness of counsel,” the order states.

The Supreme Court also said it is likely that Labrie will complete the 12-month sentence before the court can “resolve his direct appeal” and that the trial court may have “erroneously limited” the cross-examination of a witness for the State, who testified about conversations he had with Labrie immediately before and after the sexual assault took place.

It will be up to the trial court to decide whether to change Labrie’s bail conditions.

Labrie was found guilty in August of a felony charge of using a computer to lure an underage female schoolmate at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, into a sexual encounter. He was also convicted of three misdemeanor sexual assault charges and one misdemeanor charge of child endangerment and sentenced to one year in jail.

After he was sentenced to 12 months in prison in October, Labrie was released on bail pending an appeal. But in March, Smukler revoked Labrie’s bail for missing his court-ordered curfew several times, and he was taken to a New Hampshire county jail to begin serving his sentence.

Labrie’s defense attorney Jaye Rancourt filed a motion to stay the pending appeal last month “pending litigation of the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel in the trial court” and filed a motion requesting a new trial shortly thereafter.

The request for a new trial, filed last month, took issue with Labrie’s original defense team, including his high-powered former attorney Jay Carney. The motion claims that Labrie’s lawyers failed to ensure the jury received proper instructions, claiming that if they had, they would not have convicted him of the felony computer charge.

Rancourt did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

After graduation from St. Paul’s, one of the country’s most prestigious prep schools, Labrie had intended to attend Harvard University. But the Ivy League school rescinded its offer after he was accused of sexual assault.

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