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Research Paper Example on Owen Labrie Rape Trial

7 pages
1736 words
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Elements of CrimeOwen Labrie, who is a former scholar-athlete at St. Pauls school, in Concord, New Hampshire was accused of raping his classmate who was a minor, Chessy Prout, aged 15 years. The victim was a privileged child raised in Asia and lived with an older sister. According to her account of what happened, the offender who was among the famous boys in the campus and enticed her through insistent entreating emails via the school server (Purdum, 2016).

Evidence suggests that Labrie voluntarily and purposefully planned to carry out the sexual assault. He wanted to outdo his fellow popular friends by slaying the naive freshman, in what they called the senior salute (Purdum, 2016). The senior students kept track of their sexual and romantic conquests. Labrie himself wrote an article suggesting that he was part of this. In the article, the main subject was if there is happiness in intimacies in secret places. The statement strongly implies that Labrie was connected to this group of campus older boys who preyed on young freshman girls especially.

Findings strongly imply that Labrie had the knowledge of the victims age, but he still went on to entice her into being sexually involved with him. He pursued her via enticing emails he sent using the campus server. According to evidence collected, he acted intentionally disregarding the knowledge of the victims age.

Labries DNA was found on Prouts underwear proving that he penetrated the victim using his fingers, tongue, and penis. The implication of this is that it is beyond reasonable doubt that Labrie had sex with a minor, which is against the law whether or not the underage person consented. Also, Prout alleges that he said no thrice and Labrie did not stop. Labrie went to the dormitory and bragged to his friends that he had added to the numbers of senior salute, confessing that he had indeed had sex with a minor (Stump, 2017). Also, he exchanged emails where he admits that he had intercourse with the victim.

Defenses Claimed By the Defense

Labrie argued that Prout consented to engage in sexual intercourse and even enjoyed it. He claims that they also exchanged private messages after the encounter. Prout had agreed to some of these statements but has since declared that she did not consent and she specifically said no when Labrie reached for her underwear.

Labries lawyers argued that the target of the law is individuals who use online computer services, local bulletin board service or internet service knowingly with an underlying intention to lure minors for sex. According to Labries defense, the emails he exchanged with Prout never left the institutions intranet service which is neither an internet service nor an online platform. Therefore, these laws do not apply to Labries case, and there are no grounds to convict him of these offenses as per the existing laws (Francis, 2017). The emails in which the offender contacted the victim never left the school email systems and was limited to campus servers, therefore, those servers may not be covered by the state laws. The prosecutor alleged that these arguments were unmerited because during the enactment of the of the law in 1998 the circumstances were different. It was when the use of the internet as a means of public communication was beginning to be widely accepted, and thus it would not be reasonable to think that intranet communications would be exempted by these laws.

Also, the defense argued that the girls social media accounts were not properly investigated. Information on the specific messages that the victim sent to her dorm advisor would be crucial in verification of her testimony (Francis, 2017).

Constitutional Protection Issues

Among the constitutional protection issues that arose from the Labrie sexual assault case is the protection of Prouts rights as a minor and also the protection of Labrie unlawful imprisonment by the constitution.

At the time of the assault, Prout was 15 years old. At this age, she is entitled to protection from rape and defilement by the constitution. Whether or not she may consent to sex with an individual who is of age is not crucial given that she has not reached a legal age to be empowered to make her own decisions about this matter. In this circumstance, the offender violated these rights. The issue is a complex one as the victim agrees that she intended for a part of what happened to happen but she did not want to have sex with the offender. She alleges that she refused, but Labrie forcefully had intercourse with her. The actions of Labrie are a violation of Prouts rights (Stump, 2017). As provided in the constitution, Prout ought to be protected against such acts, whether or not she intended for it to happen or consented. Being a minor, she is no position to consent to sex.

Constitutional protection of Labrie from unlawful imprisonment is another issue that arises. Labrie argues that the victim consented to and intended for the sex to happen. Also, he argues that the laws that cover the use of the internet to lure a minor into sex does not apply to him (Francis, 2017). The reason is that he used the schools intranet server and therefore pursuing the argument that the existing laws do not apply for offenders who use the intranet as its target as stated within the law is offenders who utilize internet platforms to lure minors into sex. Therefore, if the rule of law is to be upheld, Labrie should not be found guilty of the offenses he was found with, and this law should protect him from jurys discretion that may cause his unlawful imprisonment.

Case Brief

Title and Citation: Owen Labrie Rape Trial (2016)

Facts of the Case: Owen Labrie, aged 21 years at the time of the assault is accused of sexually assaulting a minor, Chessy Prout, aged 15 years then, on Friday, 30th May 2014. Labrie lured Chessy Prout via persistent enticing emails using the St. Pauls email service, which is an intranet service. It was disputed whether Prout consented or not and also whether the case was within the jurisdiction of internet laws.

Issues: Did Labrie violate Prouts rights as a minor by having sex with her against her will?

Do the laws that target those who use online platforms to lure minors into sex apply to Labrie?

Holding: Labrie violated a minors rights by having sex with her. Also, the laws against those who abuse the internet to lure children into sex apply to Labrie, and he is guilty of abusing computer services.

Reasoning: According to the laws, any person who commits any sexual act against another through the use of force against that individual, is guilty of rape. Also, according to the law, any sexual act with a minor whether with the minors consent or not is guilty of a sexual offense. In this case, Labrie forcefully had sex with Prout even after she said no and also went ahead t have sex with her despite the fact that he was aware of her age. Also, Labrie abused the intranet to lure a minor into sex, making him guilty of using online computer service to coax a child into sex.

Analysis: From the evidence obtained, Labrie purposefully and intentionally had sex with a minor with the knowledge that she was underage and therefore her consent to be sexually involved with him was not valid. Also, it is apparent that he abused the schools email service to trick a child into having sex with him.

My Judgment

If I were the judge, I would not have made the same decision that was made by the jury on the case. The reason is I am of the opinion that Labrie is guilty of felony sexual assault charges. I disagree with the verdict that he is guilty of a misdemeanor of sexually assaulting a child, endangering her welfare and guilty of only one felony charge of abusing computer services to trick a child into sex.

The evidence strongly supports the fact that Labrie knowingly had sex with a minor and disregarded the information that she was underage. The implication of this is that Labrie is guilty of intentionally violating a minor. It is a felony and therefore he ought to have been convicted of it. Issues pertaining rape especially where minors are involved are sensitive. Given that Labrie knew Prouts age, he is guilty of a felony as she is a minor renders her consent to any sexual acts invalid. Also, the offender went ahead to have sex with the victim without her consent. The action makes Labrie guilty of rape according to the description of rape in the law that any sexual activity towards a person through the use of force is regarded as rape.

The reason I believe it is essential that the offenses that were committed by Labrie be regarded as a felony is the gravity of rape. Rape causes a lot of negative impacts on its victims not only physically but psychologically. There is the issue that the victim partially consented which cannot be ignored. However, an individual has a right to deciding what happens to their bodies. If a person commits sexual acts towards a person against their will even if the other party had initially agreed to some acts but not others, the person is guilty of rape. The reason is the sexual acts will be regarded as forceful, which is what rape is. In this case, although Prout may have agreed to meet with Labrie and allowing him to kiss her, she did not consent to sexual intercourse. She says that when she refused to let him remove her underwear, he bit her breasts through the bra making her feel pain and the next thing she felt was something inside her, and as she could see Labries hands, it was apparently his penis. Therefore, I am of the opinion that Labrie ought to have been convicted of a felony of sexually assaulting a minor.



Francis, E. (2017). Owen Labrie is back in court, seeking a new trial. ABC News. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from

Purdum, T. (2016). St. Pauls Before and After the Owen Labrie Rape Trial. The Hive. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from

Stump, S. (2016). Chessy Prout, St. Pauls School assault survivor, sheds anonymity on TODAY. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from



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