A former student at the prestigious St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, convicted of a felony charge stemming from rape allegations, will argue on Wednesday he had an ineffective legal team and deserves a new trial.
Owen Labrie, 23, was found guilty in 2015 of one count of “certain uses of computer services prohibited,” three counts of sexual assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
The sexual assault charges and the endangering the welfare of a child charge are misdemeanors. The computer-use charge is a felony, and carries a mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender, according to the Concord Monitor.
Prosecutors accused Labrie, then 18, of raping a 15-year-old freshman girl in May 2014 at St. Paul's School. Prosecutors said he did it as part of a ritual called the "Senior Salute," in which graduating seniors try to bed underclassmen.
He was acquitted of the most serious charges against him — three counts of felony sexual assault, each of which carried up to 20 years in prison, but was sentenced to a year in jail and had to register as a sex offender.
Labrie initially was allowed to remain free on bail pending an appeal, but was taken into custody in March and ordered to start serving his 1-year sentence after he violated bail conditions by missing curfew.
Labrie will argue that his former defense team, led by Boston attorney J.W. Carney, whose high-profile clients included notorious gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, ineffectively defended him against the computer-use charge.
Public defender Christopher Johnson, who will represent Labrie, did not immediately return a request for comment.
Earlier this month, in the first of Labrie's two appeals, the court ruled in a unanimous 3-0 decision to uphold his felony conviction and declined to give him a new trial. Three judges on the court recused themselves from the decision.