Teen Cleared of Most Serious Charge in Prep School Rape Case
Owen Labrie convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2015 2:07 PM CDT
Owen Labrie, seen here testifying Wednesday, was found guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault today after accusations he raped a 15-year-old girl while they were students at St. Paul's School.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)

(Newser) – The man accused of raping a 15-year-old girl while they were students at a prestigious New Hampshire boarding school was found guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault but acquitted of more serious felony charges today, the Boston Globe reports. The victim claims Owen Labrie, 18 at the time, forced sexual intercourse on her—ignoring her pleas to stop and fighting to remove her underwear—in the attic of a St. Paul's School building in May 2014. In his defense, Labrie, who attended a choir concert following the attack, says the two never had intercourse—he says he started putting a condom on before deciding he didn't want to have sex with the victim—and any sexual contact was consensual, CNN reports. He said it seemed like the victim was "having a great time."

During the two-week trial, Labrie's friends testified he bragged about having sex with the victim, and prosecutors claimed Labrie and his friends were competing to see who could "slay" the most girls before graduation, the Globe reports. CNN states the defense attempted to put blame on St. Paul's itself for encouraging a tradition known as "senior salute," in which seniors attempt to have sexual interactions with underclassmen before commencement. The defense claims the school is "failing" its students by tolerating senior salute, which it said harmed both its client and the victim. In addition to misdemeanor sexual assault, the jury found Labrie guilty of using a computer to lure a minor and endangering the welfare of a child. He was acquitted of felony rape.