Aug 28, 2015 1:49 PM
CONCORD - The jury has found Owen Labrie not guilty of three felony charges of sexual assault in connection with accusations that he'd raped a then-freshman girl at St. Paul's School.
The St. Paul's School graduate was found guilty of three counts of statutory rape, misdemeanors and one felony charge of using a computer to solicit the girl Friday at Merrimack County Superior Court. He was also found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child, also a misdemeanor. He was found not guilty of simple assault, another misdemeanor.
The 19-year-old bowed his head and wept briefly as the decision was read. He could have faced up to 60 years in prison for three aggravated felonious sex assault charges.
A jury of nine men and three women took eight hours to reach its verdict in the case against Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, a student who had attended the prestigious prep school on scholarship.
The state claimed that Labrie took advantage of the 15-year-old girl during a sordid sex tradition called the Senior Salute at St. Paul's School.
Senior Salutes are so well-known at St. Paul's School that students called April "Slaypril" and May "Slay," the state claims. Even Labrie's defense attorney, who represented the known mobster Whitey Bulger, said it is a practice that has to be stopped because graduating boys are pressured to have lots of sex, and girls are supposed to be honored to be chosen for Senior Salute.
The defense argued that Labrie had a crush the girl his entire senior year and that they made out but did not have intercourse. He told the jury on Wednesday that he had a moment of self-restraint and reflection after putting on a condom and decided to leave the girl alone.
Police obtained 12,000 pages of Facebook evidence, including deleted messages and 20,000 pages of email evidence used against Labrie.
Follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.
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