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Mar 11, 2015 2:16 PM

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


CONCORD - Nineteen-year-old accused rapist Owen Labrie was in court Wednesday for a bail revocation hearing, after the former St. Paul's student sent a letter to parents of classmates asking for financial assistance to pay for his legal council.

Labrie is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl back in May, just two days before he graduated. Labrie said he is innocent.

After Labrie's third attorney recused himself from the case, it was unclear who would represent Labrie in court. Labrie hired prominent Boston defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr. as his legal council. Carney has defended a number of high-profile cases incluing Boston mobster Whitey Bulger.

In closed chambers, Deputy County Attorney Catherine Ruffle and Carney agreed on redefining the terms of bail, and the prosecution agreed to dropping the bail revocation request.

The new terms of bail specify Labrie must not have direct or indirect contact with the victim, her family, any current student at St. Paul's School, any alumni who graduated in 2011 or later, any current faculty or administration or any person listed on the prosecution's prospective witness list.

Judge Larry Smuckler also accepted the defense's request for a trial continuance until August, despite strong opposition from the prosecution. But the judge did agree that four attorneys were enough and this would be the last time he approves a change of council.

The trial is scheduled to start Aug. 17, or a plea deal will be made on or before July 31.


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