The New Hampshire prep school graduate convicted of sexual assault earlier this year is speaking out for the first time.
In an exclusive Newsweek interview published this week, Owen Labrie broke his silence about life since his conviction.
Now 20, Labrie was convicted in August of a misdemeanor sexual assault and a felony count of using a computer to lure a minor for a 2014 incident with a 15-year-old girl at St. Paul's School in Concord. Prosecutors tied the assault to a competition in which seniors at the school sought to have sex with underclassmen. Labrie was 18 at the time.
He was sentenced in October to a year in jail and has been forced to register as a sex offender in his home state of Vermont.
"I'd do it the exact same way," Labrie told Newsweek, when asked why he rejected plea deals that would have allowed him to serve less than a month in jail and stay off the sex offender registry.
"It was the only thing that sustained me, knowing I had told the truth," Labrie said. "I had done what was right. I walked out of the courthouse with my chin up."
He added that "not caving" to the pressure to accept a plea deal was one of the only things that kept him going.
According to Labrie's appellate attorney Jaye Rancourt, the interview wasn't for fame or attention.
"I think part of it was that Owen was hoping in what happened to him there is a lesson for other young people," Rancourt said.
"Had he used snail mail, no felony. Phone call, no felony. Text? No felony. Internet? Felony," wrote journalist Matthew Cooper.
For that, he was forced to register as a lifetime sex offender. Rancourt considers the computer law flawed.
"The statute was written first, before the influx of smart phones and the use of technology being used today," Rancourt said.
Newsweek tried to speak with the victim and her family, but they did not agree to interviews.
Labrie is currently living with his mother in Vermont, subject to conditions including a curfew. He remains free pending an appeal.
He said he's had trouble finding a job because of the trial, and he still gets hate mail and gets cursed at when he stops to gas up his car.