Below is a statement from the victim and her family following the verdicts in the St. Paul’s School rape case.
“Our family, like many others, have read several articles on campus sexual assault in recent years with concern as our daughters progressed through school. But never in our worst nightmares could we have imagined that we would be experiencing this issue firsthand with our 15-year-old daughter during her first year of high school. The reality of this national epidemic has hit home and there is overwhelming sadness for the large number of students suffering from sexual violence everyday in this nation.
Today, a measure of justice has been served for victims of sexual violence. While he was not convicted on all charges, Owen Labrie was held accountable in some way by a jury of his peers for crimes he committed against our daughter. This conviction requires him to take ownership for his actions and gives him the opportunity to reflect upon the harm he has caused. There is no joy in this outcome, however, as our daughter can never get back what she has lost nor can St. Paul’s School ever be our community again.
We still feel betrayed that St. Paul’s School allowed and fostered a toxic culture that left our daughter and other students at risk to sexual violence. We trusted the school to protect her and it failed us. We continue to feel anger and disappointment for the lack of character and integrity that the young men of St. Paul’s School showed, laughing and joking with Owen Labrie at graduation about “slaying” our daughter. Both the school and these young men should bear the shame of these crimes along with Owen Labrie.
While we stood together as a family through this process, it was our young daughter who took the stand to speak the truth and request justice. We admire her bravery in coming forward and speaking out in the face of great adversity. It is truly her courage that has made this measure of justice possible today.
We would be remiss not to express our deepest thanks and appreciation to the Concord Police, the Concord Child Advocacy Center, and the Merrimack County Prosecutor’s Office for their tireless efforts to pursue the truth and secure justice in this case. They treated our family with dignity and respect during this long ordeal and we are eternally grateful for their service.
We also would like to thank the court and its staff, for preforming their civic duties, the jury for its service, which required spending time away from their families, extended family and friends, for traveling here or otherwise sending their support, and for the complete strangers who offered us support and words of encouragement through the most difficult process of our lives.”
Laura L. Dunn, Esq.
SurvJustice Founder Executive Director
Representative for Victim Family