Prep school grad convicted of sex assault seeks new trial

Owen Labrie
Owen Labrie, right, listens to prosecutors with his lawyer J.W. Carney, left, before being sentenced in Merrimack County Superior Court, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Concord, N.H. The graduate of the exclusive St. Paul’s School was sentenced to a year in jail for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old freshman girl as part of a tradition in which upperclassmen competed to rack up sexual conquests. Labrie was allowed to remain free on bail while he appeals his conviction. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)

The former prep school student whose rape case blew the lid off claims of a campus tradition of sexual conquest has asked for a new trial, documents show.

Owen Labrie was acquitted last year of felony rape but convicted on lesser charges against a 15-year-old classmate at New Hampshire’s elite St. Paul’s School. Prosecutors argued that Labrie’s crimes were part of an alleged ritual called the “Senior Salute” in which graduating seniors try to bed underclassmen.

A judge called Labrie “a leader not a follower” in sentencing him to three concurrent 12-month terms for convictions of misdemeanor sexual assault and a felony charge of computer-related seduction.

Labrie initially was allowed to remain free on bail pending an appeal, but was taken into custody in March and ordered to start serving his 1-year sentence after he violated bail conditions by missing curfew.

Despite the convictions, Labrie had said late last year he had no regrets in his legal defense.

“I’d do it the exact same way,” Labrie told Newsweek in an interview.

However, Labrie on Tuesday filed a motion for a new trial on the grounds he had an inadequate defense — because his trial team didn’t pay enough attention to the computer-related seduction charge.

The motion — obtained by NBC News — argues that Labrie’s defense had an “objectively unreasonable” strategy regarding that charge, which mandates he now be on a sex-offender registry.

“The trial counsel’s failure to challenge the Computer Offense resulted in a miscarriage of justice,” according to the motion.

NBC News was not immediately able to reach Labrie’s trial attorneys or his victim for comment.


Judge Revokes Bail for Prep School Grad Convicted of Sex Assault

Prep school grad gets 1 year sentence in sex assault case

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