A prep school competition that involves seniors vying to see who can rack up the "most conquests" has ended in a rape charge.
Owen Labrie, A recent graduate of the prestigious St. Paul's prep school, has been charged with sexually assaulting a freshman as part of the student tradition in which seniors try to have sex with younger students.
Founded in 1856 as an Episcopal school for boys, the New Hampshire boarding school is only one of six fully residential high schools in the country with annual tuition of more than $50,000.
A police affidavit obtained by the Concord Monitor alleges that the 18-year-old Tunbridge, Vermont resident, sexually assaulted a 15-year-old on campus.
Labrie denies having sex with the girl, and results are still pending from a state lab, but the affidavit says a nurse reported seeing a laceration consistent with forced intercourse.
Labrie is set for arraignment September 15 on three felony counts of sexual assault and one count of using a computer to lure the alleged victim. He is due to attend Harvard in the fall, though his higher education plans may be somewhat derailed in light of the developing case.
The police affidavit says St. Paul’s counselor Sandra Whalen contacted Concord police after hearing from the girl’s mother June 3.
“Whalen informed me that there is a horrible tradition at the boarding school called the 'senior salute' in which a senior emails a younger student regarding a 'conquest' before they graduate,” Julie Curtin, a detective with the Concord police claims.
According to the affidavit, when Labrie initially sent his ‘senior salute’ to the girl, she declined his invite, even though she was not yet aware of the contest. Labrie then asked a male friend to ‘put in a good word’ for him with the freshman.
"When she accepted Owen Labrie’s 'senior salute,' her understanding was that it would be 'just a hook up,' which to her meant kissing or making out and ‘that’s all,'" the affidavit reads.
During the on-campus encounter, Labrie allegedly tried to take off the girl's underwear and began inserted himself into her. She said ‘no’ twice and pulled back in pain, the affidavit claims.
“She stated she did not know that was going to happen and did not want that to happen,” the detective wrote. “I asked her if there was ever any conversation where she said yes and she said there was not.”
After that night, Labrie allegedly reached out to the 15-year-old on Facebook, cautioning her, “for so many reasons we need to make sure people don't think the wrong thing."
If convicted, Labrie could face prison time and be required to register as a sex offender. He is currently out on $15,000 bail.
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