St. Paul’s demands identity of Owen Labrie’s victim to be made public
St. Paul’s School is asking a federal court to release the identity of a teenager who is suing the elite prep school over her 2014 on-campus sexual assault by fellow student Owen Labrie.
The Concord, N.H., school made the request Thursday in US District Court for New Hampshire, where the girl’s parents have sued, alleging the school did not do enough to protect their daughter. She was a 15-year-old freshman at the time of the assault.
In their lawsuit, filed June 1, they identify themselves as John and Jane Doe; their daughter is identified as J.D.
St. Paul’s is asking the court to deny the family’s use of pseudonyms. The school says the family is using the media to attack “the character, credibility, and reputation” of the school “from behind a cloak of anonymity,” according to court documents.
“Judicial proceedings are supposed to be open and transparent,” the motion stated.
In addition, the school contends that the jury in the case could be biased against St. Paul’s because of the publicity that has followed the criminal case against Labrie and its aftermath.
Prosecutors said at trial that Labrie was participating in a campus rite known as the Senior Salute, where upperclassmen competed to have sex with younger students before graduation. Labrie, who was 18 at the time, assaulted the freshman in May 2014 in an academic building, prosecutors said.
Labrie was acquitted last August of felony rape charges but was found guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault, illegal use of computer services, and endangering the welfare of a child. He is free on bail as he appeals his conviction.
Steven J. Kelly, lawyer for the victim’s family, declined to comment Sunday night on the filing but said he will respond through the legal system.
“We look forward to filing papers with the court,” he said.