Owen Labrie appeal to be heard before N.H. Supreme Court on Sept. 13
Lawyers for Owen Labrie, the former St. Paul’s School student convicted in 2015 of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl the year before in a secluded room on campus, will ask the New Hampshire Supreme Court to reverse the guilty finding in September, officials said Thursday.
The highly anticipated appellate hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13 at 9:30 a.m., state Judicial Branch officials said in an advisory.
“Mr. Labrie is appealing his convictions at trial,” Carole Alfano, a spokeswoman for the New Hampshire Judicial Branch, said in the advisory. “His second appeal, regarding a claim of ineffective legal counsel at trial, is separate and still pending.”
Labrie, now in his early 20s, was acquitted of raping the girl, who was also enrolled at St. Paul’s, but convicted of having sex with someone below the age of consent and using computer services to lure a minor.
In Thursday’s advisory, Alfano said the appellate argument is first on the high court’s docket on Sept. 13 and will run for 30 minutes.
“A major roofing project is underway at the Court. However, construction will be halted during the argument,” Alfano wrote.
The sensational case garnered national headlines and cast an unflattering light on the sexual culture at St. Paul’s. Prosecutors said Labrie targeted the girl as part of a contest in which he and his friends were competing over sexual conquests.
The victim, Chessy Prout, has gone public with her ordeal and published a searing memoir, written with Boston Globe reporter Jenn Abelson, entitled “I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope.”
“I want to emphasize that there is no such thing as a perfect victim,” Prout said in March during an appearance on the “Today” Show. “People can . . . pull us apart, tear us apart, tear us down, try to poke holes in our stories. But, at the same time, we are human, we make mistakes, and we’re not perfect. And so that’s what I wanted to show through writing this book — show my vulnerability, show my weaknesses, and be able to say, you can be strong through those.”