Aug 17, 2015 7:23 PM

Owen Labrie rape trial focuses on 'Senior Salute' at St. Paul's School, is gaining international interest

CONCORD - Eyes from around the world are on the trial of Owen Labrie, a graduate of St. Paul's School in Concord.

Labrie, 19, is on trial for rape, after he allegedly lured a 15-year-old freshman girl to the top of a math and science building during a "tradition" at the prestigious prep school, called "Senior Salute."

READ: St. Paul's graduate Owen Labrie to stand trial in rape case

Labrie was 18-years-old at the time, and just two days from graduation. He had nothing to lose, as he had been accepted to Harvard University for the following school year.

But, according to prosecutors, Labrie took a risk that ended it all for him. In an attempt to win the sordid sex game, he used the element of surprise to assault that teenaged girl, after asking her to check out the rooftop view of their campus, prosecutors say.

READ: St. Paul's rape suspect gets new attorney; bail conditions strengthened

Assistant County Attorney Catherine Ruffle told Judge Larry Smukler that Labrie chose the underclassman because having sexual relations with her would earn him more points during the salute. He had previously been with her relative.

Attractive girls, sisters, and fun locations gave the graduating men more points in the competition, where interactions with female students were referred to as "slays" and "scores."

Ruffle said the girl was one of 15 to 20 young women he was targeting during "Senior Salute." It is not known if he approached more female students in the same manner.

READ: Senior at St. Paul's charged with burning girlfriend with lamp

On Monday, three women and eleven men were chosen to sit on Labrie's jury. Later in the afternoon, his attorney, Jay Carney - who represented alleged mobster Whitey Bulger - made a brief statement to media waiting outside the courtroom.

"It's traumatic for any citizen to be put on trial for any offense, never mind a serious offense," Carney said.

The trial is expected to last seven days. On Tuesday, jurors will be brought on a view of St. Paul's, which costs over $55,000 a year in tuition, before opening statements.

Secretary of State John Kerry, Congressmen, ambassadors, famous writers and notable CEOs all attended the famous prep school. Witnesses from as far away as London and New York City may be called during the trial.

Follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.


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