Owen Labrie, a 20-year-old graduate of St Paul’s School, an elite prep school in New Hampshire, has been handed a one-year prison sentence and five years probation after being found guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault.
Labrie's one-year prison sentence comes up three concurrent 12-month terms for the misdemeanor charges of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, and a felony charge of computer-related seduction, NBC News reports. He will also be placed on the sex offender register for life because of the felony charge.
He was sentenced on Oct. 29.
“I believe that you are not the angel as portrayed by your counsel,” Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler said in court, according to NBC News. “But neither are you the devil as portrayed by the prosecution.”
The prosecution pushed for Labrie to serve between three-and-a-half and seven years behind bars, while Labrie’s attorney argued for probation on the basis that his client had already suffered enough.
“His life has been one of trauma trying to deal with these allegations and the emotion of this trial,” J.W. Carney (also known as Jay Carney), Labrie’s attorney, said in court, Daily Mail reported.
The judge rejected this claim.
“This is a day of justice for the victim,” Smukler told Labrie. “I have to recognize what you did to her when you committed the crime.”
Labrie was convicted of having sex with the 15-year-old girl when he was 18 years old in May 2014. They met on the school’s campus when Labrie was a senior and the girl was a freshman.
He allegedly reached out to the girl as part of a "Senior Salute," which is when senior boys at the prep school try to have sex with freshmen girls.
“What he did to me made me feel like I didn’t belong on this planet…like I would be better off dead,” she said in a video statement to the court, according to NBC News.
Labrie claimed in court that the pair had consensual sexual contact, but they never had sex because he had a change of heart. The girl, however, testified that he raped her despite her saying no.
“I tried to block out the feeling as much as I could,” she added. “I didn't want to believe this was happening to me.”
Carny sought to challenge the requirement that Labrie register for life as a sex offender. He argued that the 20-year-old was only being made to do so because he had used a computer to contact the girl, and this charge didn't match the punishment of up to seven years in prison and lifetime sexual offender status.
Smukler denied the attorney's challenge.
“He could have used the telephone or engaged in direct face-to-face conversation," Smukler responded in writing, according to the Concord Monitor. "He also could have used a quill pen and parchment. The legislature has rationally recognized, however, the danger posed by the use of a computer or the internet, which combines the immediacy of conversation with the distance of a written communication conveyed by post."
Labrie’s attorney intends to appeal the sentence.