Chessy Prout, the victim in last year’s high profile prep school rape case in which senior Owen Labrie was charged for sexually assaulting her, had been protected in anonymity by law.
But now, Prout, a former student at the St. Paul’s School, has revealed her identity on national TV and publicly spoken about the crime. She said she is “not afraid or ashamed anymore,” and that she wants to give encouragement to all victims who have faced sexual assault.
“I want other people to feel empowered and just strong enough to be able to say, ‘I have the right to my body. I have the right to say no,’” she said. “I just can’t imagine how scary it is for other people to have to do this alone, and I don’t want anybody else to be alone anymore.”
Chessy Prout: Charges brought against Owen Labrie
In August last year, Labrie was acquitted on three counts of felony sexual assault. He was convicted on three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault, felony illegal use of computer services, and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. The crime he has been accused of committing occurred during the “Senior Salute” ritual.
As reported by Boston.com, his lawyer at the time, J.W. Carney, said the charges brought against Labrie were an indication that Labrie and the victim had consensual sex. Additionally, Carney argued that Labrie’s conviction exists as he contacted Prout through email and Facebook. Carney further said that the conviction would not have existed had his client contacted the victim through phone or spoken to her in person.
Labrie is appealing the verdict.
Chessy Prout: “I hope he learns”
“It’s been two years now since the whole ordeal, and I feel ready to stand up and own what happened to me and make sure other people, other girls and boys, don’t need to be ashamed, either,” Prout said, as reported by TODAY.com.
“I hope he learns,” Prout said. “I hope he gets help. And that’s all I can ever hope for in any sort of process like this. Because if he doesn’t learn, he will do it to another young woman.”