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Photo: Charles Krupa/AP

Owen Labrie faces sentencing in elite prep school sexual assault case

Prosecutors asked a judge Thursday to sentence a New England prep school graduate to 3.5 to 7 years in prison over a sexual assault on a younger female student and a felony.

According to ABC News, a judge in New Hampshire will decide whether Owen Labrie will be sentenced to years in prison or will receive probation, like his friends and family requested in court, in a case that has brought a tradition called Senior Salute–upperclassman compete to have sex with young students–to light and rocked St. Paul’s School.

Labrie, who is now 20, was an 18-year-old senior at St. Paul’s School in Concord when he experienced a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old freshman, according to prosecutors. He was originally charged with rape and was accused of forcing himself on the freshman in a deserted building on school grounds.

A jury in August cleared him of said charge, but they convicted him of misdemeanor sexual assault for having sex with an underage girl, Los Angeles Times reports. He was also found guilty of using a computer to attract her attention.

The current charges carry the weight of up to 11 years in prison. And the felony computer charge will cause him to register as a sex offender for life.

The prosecutors asked for 3.5 to 7 years in prison for the computer offense and agreed to a suspended sentence for the rest if Labrie went through a sex offender program.

Later on Thursday, Labrie was given the opportunity to address the court. His lawyer asked for probation and community service, claiming that Labrie has already suffered enough. He called his punishment to date “enormous” and explained that Labrie had lost a full scholarship to Harvard’s Divinity School, Associated Press reports.

Labrie’s attorney, J.W. Carney, gave the judge a collection of testimonials from Labrie’s priests, teachers, friends, an ex-girlfriend, and parents vouching for his character before the hearing, ABC News reports.

Labrie’s mother wrote in her testimonial to the judge that her son was “suicidal” upon the first meetings with detectives at the beginning of the case. “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 wrote.

The victim, whose name is being withheld due to the nature of the crime and her age, and her attorney will have until Thursday’s hearing to submit their testimonials.

About Meredith Rodefer

Meredith Rodefer
Meredith Rodefer is a freelance writer, who focuses on anything from lifestyle blogging to hard news, and dancer. Beyond Youth Independent, she has written for sites such as Natmonitor.com, CheekyChicago.com and FamilyFocusBlog.com. Contact Meredith: meredith.rodefer@youthindependent.com