Prep-School Sex Offender Convicted For Conquest Competition Will Spend Christmas At Home
Owen Labrie will head to prison on Dec. 26 after a judge declind to shorten his sentence, citing "justice for the victim."
Owen Labrie will need to report to jail the day after Christmas to serve the remainder of his sentence after being convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student, while participating in a sexual conquest ritual at the elite prep-school where he attended high school.
Labrie's attorneys had requested the now 23-year-old's sentence be shortened because of his maturing during the years since the assault took place and said he had already been punished by having to abide by a curfew and wearing an electronic monitoring device, according to The Associated Press.
But Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler disagreed saying he needed to take into account "justice for the victim" and ordered Labrie to report to jail Dec. 26 to complete the remainder of his sentence.
Carole Alfano, a spokeswoman for the New Hampshire court system, told the Boston Globe Labrie currently has nine months left to serve.
Labrie was convicted in 2015 of three counts of sexual assault, one count of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of "certain uses of computer services prohibited" after investigators said he assaulted a 15-year-old classmate at St. Paul's School as part of a sexual conquest game at the school known as the "Senior Salute."
He was acquitted of rape charges in the case.
At the time, he was given a one-year sentence for the sexual assault but was allowed out on bail while he appealed the convictions, other than a 63-day stint in jail in 2016 after violating a court-ordered curfew, The Globe reports.
Although Labrie didn't speak to reporters after the judge's decision was handed down Tuesday, Labrie's attorney Jaye Rancourt described him as "disappointed" with the outcome.
"It's been a long haul for him" Rancourt said, according to the AP. "He was a very young man at the time he was convicted. We had hoped four years later would be a different outcome. Unfortunately, it wasn't."
Rancourt said Labrie has had difficulty finding a job because of the conviction and has received piles of hate mail.
"He recognizes that he was not respectful to women … and that is very shameful for him,” Rancourt said. “This young man now has to live the rest of his life with the majority of people in the world thinking that is him … when in fact it’s not. He is actually a very caring, sensitive individual whose life has been unalterably changed by this case and the publicity that it has generated.”
The victim in the case, Chessy Prout, commended the judge for his decision.
"Today's decision is important because it shows survivors that people are listening, even if it takes several years for a single case to be resolved," she said in a statement given to NBC News. "The only way we will ever truly change rape culture is by holding perpetrators and the institutions that are complicit to these crimes responsible."
Prout has spoken publicly about the case in the past and has become a vocal supporter of sexual assault survivors, including co-authoring a book that detailed her own experience.
Just last month, a request from Labrie's attorneys to dismiss the convictions on the computer charge was denied by the state Supreme Court.
His attorneys have also filed another appeal requesting a new trial after arguing that his initial defense had been ineffective.
[Photo Credit: The Associated Press]