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Owen Labrie asks for new trial, says legal team was ineffective


Labrie was acquitted in 2015 of raping a 15-year-old classmate as part of "Senior Salute," a game of sexual conquest, at St. Paul's School, but found guilty of a felony computer charge and several misdemeanor counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. (Elizabeth Frantz / AP)

Owen Labrie’s legal team argued Wednesday as part of his continued efforts for a new trial that his prior representation was ineffective when he was convicted in August 2015 on felony charges stemming from a sexual assault accusation at his New Hampshire prep school.

Labrie, 23, requested that the New Hampshire Supreme Court grant him a new trial after he was found guilty of using a computer to lure a 15-year-old classmate into having sex with him. The conviction came with a lifetime on the sex offender registry and a year in jail.

The former St. Paul’s Prep student was also found guilty of several misdemeanors, including sexual assault, but was acquitted of felony sexual assault.

Public defender Christopher Johnson argued Wednesday that Labrie’s legal team failed to let the jury know that their job was to determine Labrie’s intent when he sent emails to his victim urging her to meet him for what was dubbed the “Senior Salute,” an alleged competition in which seniors competed to sleep with underclassmen.

“All I have to do here to prevail is show that this was a genuine issue the jury should’ve been asked to decide. And because they were not asked to decide it, they didn’t decide it,” Johnson said. “We don’t know what they would have thought about intent at the moment the message was sent.”

Labrie was in attendance Wednesday for his second appeal this month; on Nov. 6, the court upheld his felony conviction and declined to grant him a new trial.

Jaye Rancourt, his attorney, said at the time that she was “deeply disappointed” by the decision.