I am no longer expert in criminal law, particularly the law of sexual assault which is particularly fraught. The American Law Institute's membership has been wrought with bitter debate about `affirmative consent'. But surely anyone has the right to say No at any time - and it should be heeded. The jury's compromise verdict does not seem unreasonable to me. Owen Labrie is bound for jail instead of Harvard. His behaviour was deplorable - on his own account. I have some slight experience with men who aim to "score", etc. The Senior Salute is a particularly noxious practice. The Rector and Board President of St. Paul's School, in a statement that is respectful of the young woman, acknowledge that such a practice existed - but deny that it was long-standing. Maybe. But there seems little doubt that at this rich kids school there was an attitude toward women that is deeply offensive. - gwc
Owen Labrie of St. Paul’s School Is Found Not Guilty of Main Rape Charge - The New York Times
by Jess Bidgood
CONCORD, N.H. — The prep school graduate accused of raping a younger student at the elite St. Paul’s School dropped his head and sobbed for the first time since the start of his trial: He had been found not guilty on Friday of felony sexual assault charges, but was convicted of having sex with a girl who was below the age of consent.
The accuser sat in the front row, tightly flanked by her family, her father’s hand on her head, her mother’s arm around her shoulders. She cried, too, in the main hall of the drab courthouse here, before stepping out the back door.
So ended the trial of Owen Labrie, 19, and with it a rare exploration of the backslapping sexual culture among some students at one of the nation’s most exclusive boarding schools. Over nearly two weeks, jurors listened to prosecutors and defense lawyers ask witnesses about a custom called the “senior salute,” in which older students at St. Paul’s propositioned younger classmates for a last-chance encounter before graduation.