N.H. Prep School Culture Discussed During Rape Trial - NECN
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N.H. Prep School Culture Discussed During Rape Trial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Monday, Aug. 24, 2015)

    In the rape trial of 19-year-old Owen Labrie, the prosecution focused on the alleged traditions of sexual conquest at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country.

    Monday, current and former St Paul's students took the stand and described a promiscuous atmosphere at the school, one that includes underage drinking, smoking, partying, and sex.

    On day five of Labrie's rape trial, the prosecution called several of the defendant's friends to the stand.

    One, a minor, who necn won't identify, tells the court Labrie admitted to him to having sex with the alleged victim who was only 15-years-old at the time.

    "I asked him in a pretty serious manner if he had had sex with her and he proceeded to tell me he did," the defendant's friend told the jury.

    Two days before he graduated in 2014, Labrie is accused of raping a freshman girl inside a secluded rooftop mechanical room on campus. Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle says it was part of a St. Paul's spring-time tradition called the "Senior Salute," a term all of the testifying witnesses knew well.

    "It's a term specific to St. Paul's that I believe can signify one student reaching out to another student in an effort to get to know them better," said St. Paul's graduate Tucker Marchese.

    "It can be kissing or more than that sexually or not necessarily," said another graduate Malcolm Salovaara.

    Even the St. Paul's Dean of Students took the stand and admitted to knowing about the "Senior Salute" and being aware of a score guide printed on a secret basement wall on campus.

    Another former student, Henry Kremer, told the jury that he was aware of a competition among some seniors, sports teams, and dorms, to see who could rack up the most senior salutes.

    The prosecution revealed that Labrie was part of a small Facebook group called "Slayers Anonymous." Several witnesses say the term "slay" refers to "scoring" as part of the "Senior Salute." But when questioned by defense attorney J.W. Carney Marchese made it clear this list was not a competition and it wasn't girls they planned to "hook up with" but rather "get to know better."

    The alleged victim's name appears in uppercase letters on that list, but the defense used at least one witness to help make a point that not every story is as true as it's told, especially in high school.

    "Maybe someone would say something happened when it really didn't," said Carney.

    "It's possible," Andrew Thomson, another St. Paul's graduate, said.

    "And that person might do that just to make himself look better," Carney asked.

    "Correct, sure," replied Thomson.

    After court Monday, Carney told reporters he has several witnesses but he's so confident with the way things are going he may only call his client to the stand.

    Carney says Labrie is looking forward to the opportunity to tell his side of this story on Wednesday.

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