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Prep school grad linked to sex assault free on good behavior

Prep school grad linked to sex assault free on good behavior Photo: AP

June 24, 2019 01:51 PM

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire prep school graduate convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old classmate as part of game of sexual conquest called "Senior Salute" was released from jail Monday.

Owen Labrie, 23, reported to the Merrimack County jail just after Christmas, after a judge refused to shorten his sentence. He had been due to serve the remaining 10 months of his sentence but was released for good behavior.

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Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, was acquitted in 2015 of raping the female classmate at St. Paul's School.

But he was found guilty of a felony computer charge and several misdemeanor counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. The computer law says no one shall knowingly use a computer online service "to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child" to commit sexual assault.

His release comes more than two weeks after the New Hampshire's Supreme Court denied his request for a new trial.

In its 3-0 ruling, the court dismissed arguments that Labrie's trial lawyers were ineffective for failing to mount a defense against the computer charge.

The lead trial lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., is a well-known defense attorney whose clients included the late Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

After the trial, Carney unsuccessfully asked a judge to set aside the guilty verdict on the computer charge. It never occurred to him before the trial, he said, that it was an issue worth exploring.

Last year, the same court upheld his convictions on the computer charge. The court dismissed arguments by Labrie's lawyers that prosecutors failed to prove intent in his use of the computer and that the law was meant to be used to target sexual predators and pedophiles combing the internet, not in cases like this.

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Credits

By MICHAEL CASEY

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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