In a short interview last week with Today, the father of Chessy Prout, the former St. Paul’s School student who was sexually assaulted by fellow student Owen Labrie during the “Senior Salute” tradition, said that the Prout family “isn’t going to give up,” as Labrie petitions for a new trial.
In 2015, Labrie was convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault, child endangerment, and using a computer to lure a minor. Though he was acquitted of the felony rape charges, the computer felony conviction required that Labrie register as a sex offender. Since his conviction, Labrie has found himself in trouble for violating the terms his bail. Labrie, who was free on bail pending his appeal, was sentenced to a year in jail after a 2016 Vice interview alerted authorities that he was violating terms of his release. The conviction was a bit of a show since Labrie was released from jail after a few months where his lawyer said he had an epiphany about his “privilege.”
In late February, Labrie was back in court petitioning a judge for a new trial based on ineffective counsel. During a hearing, one of Labrie’s lawyers, Jaye Rancourt, said that Labrie’s out-of-state team mishandled the case. The lead attorney rebutted that testimony saying that the team prevented “toxic” evidence from being heard. According to CBS Boston, Labrie contends:
His former defense team harmed his case by waiting until he was convicted to challenge the computer charge and by missing opportunities to damage the credibility of key witnesses, including the victim and some of Labrie’s friends.
Alex Prout, Chessy’s father, disagrees with Labrie’s petition. When NBC asked Prout if he felt that Labrie was “adequately defended the first time,” Prout responded, “I would say remarkably so.” Prout added that he and his family felt “anger, heartbreak, and disappointment” after seeing Labrie in court again. He believes that the best outcome is that Labrie will “eventually take responsibility for what he did to my daughter.”
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