A former student at the prestigious St. Paul's Prep School in Concord, N.H. was acquitted of felony rape charges this afternoon, but was convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses. Owen Labrie, now 19, was accused of raping a freshman girl in a mechanical closet on school grounds last year.
Labrie was charged with allegedly raping the girl in May 2014 before graduating from the school. The case drew attention to what was apparently a school tradition of senior boys competing to have sex with the highest number of younger girls, a ritual at St. Paul's called the "senior salute." As NBC News notes, the school is famous for its high-powered alumni, including John Kerry, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, a Kennedy, and three Vanderbilts.
Labrie plead not guilty on all counts, including charges of aggravated felonious assault, which carry prison terms of up to 20 years. The girl, whose name is being withheld, testified that she willingly met with Labrie but did not consent to sex.
"I was raped!" she said during her testimony last week. "I was violated in so many ways."
As the New York Times reports, the jury—nine men and three women, who deliberated for several hours across two days—"appeared uncertain about her account."
The girl's family released the following statement after the verdict was reached:
Today, a measure of justice has been served for victims of sexual violence. While he was not convicted on all charges, Owen Labrie was held accountable in some way by a jury of his peers for crimes he committed against our daughter. This conviction requires him to take ownership for his actions and gives him the opportunity to reflect upon the harm he has caused.