Former St. Paul student, Owen Labrie, who was found guilty of felony computer abuse and four misdemeanor charges of sexual assault, was given a sentence of one year in prison and five years of probation.
“You’re going to do a year in the House of Corrections and probation, that’s the bottom line,” Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler said. Smuckler further added that while Labrie had been acquitted of the rape charges, it doesn’t signify that the sexual encounter was consensual. “This was not consensual,” Smukler said.
Labrie will be registering as a sex offender for life. In August, when Labrie was found guilty of three misdemeanor counts of sexual assault for having sex with an underage 15-year-old girl and one felony count for using a computer to lure a minor for sexual activity, he was facing a prison sentence of up to 11 years, as reported by Daily Mail.
While Labrie had been accepted at Harvard University’s Divinity School, his full scholarship had been rescinded, according to the Guardian. In a statement, Rachael Dane, spokeswoman for Harvard, said, “Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under certain conditions, which are clearly expressed to students upon their acceptance.” Dane further said, “An offer of admission may be rescinded if a student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character.”
Labrie’s mother, Denise Holland, wrote a letter to the judge expressing her concerns about how her son was developing suicidal thoughts. According to the Associated Press, Holland wrote, “He expressed to more than one person that these detectives said they were going to take away ‘everything he had worked his whole life for,’ and that he ‘just wanted to die.’” She further wrote that Labrie “has been punished beyond a degree that anyone else could possibly understand, but I see it in the fear and sadness in once-bright and joyful eyes.”
A video statement was offered by the victim, who claims she was raped by Labrie, during the hearing. In the statement, she said that she was living with “almost constant” fear since she had been attacked by the accused.
Labrie’s attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., requested the court to show him leniency, as “[Labrie’s] life has been one of trauma trying to deal with these allegations and the emotion of this trial.” After the verdict last month, Carney had said, “A conviction like this is like a brand,” further adding, “One teenager was found guilty of having consensual sex with another teenager.” Saying that Labrie’s conviction was “overreaching,” Carney said he intends to appeal the charge.