Former students of St. Paul's School, an elite prep school in New Hampshire, took the stand Monday and testified that Owen Labrie told them he had sex with the girl but wanted it kept quiet.
Labrie, 19, is on trial in Concord, New Hampshire, for allegedly luring a then-freshman girl to the top of a math and science building and raping her in May 2014. The trial, now in its second week, has focused on the school’s tradition of the “Senior Salute” – in which seniors, both male and female, invite underclassmen to hang out.
Monday’s first witness was the boy who convinced the girl to accept Labrie’s invitation. He testified that Labrie was a student leader and was supposed to make people “feel as comfortable as possible.”
Last week, the girl, who was 15 at the time of the alleged assault, testified that she initially declined Labrie’s invitation but had a change of heart after his friend convinced her.
“He’s a nice guy, it’s not a big deal,” the teen testified saying to the girl. “He likes you.”
After convincing the girl to accept the invite, Labrie allegedly sent the boy a Facebook message to thank him and say "I owe you 10,000 BJs."
The prosecutor presented Facebook messages between the boys dating back to January 2014, saying the alleged assault was premeditated.
"Who do you want to pork, more than anyone bro," read one message. Labrie responded with the accusers name.
Next to take the stand was Labrie’s roommate of three years, who is now in college. He testified that Labrie had a crush on the girl and called her a “princess.” He also said he warned his then-roommate about sending a “Senior Salute” to the girl.
“I told him it probably wasn’t a great idea and that she was much younger,” the former roommate said, adding that “he told me he had boned her."
Labrie's attorney, JW Carney challenged the boy's statement asking "sometimes a person would embellish what had happened, right?," to which the witness responded, "Sure."
A fourth St. Paul's School graduate also testified that Labrie said he had sex with the girl. In a Facebook message with Labrie he asked, "I can't believe you poked her dude ... how'd it go from no to bone?" to which Labrie responds, "just pulled every trick in the book."
The witness was asked about an email sent to him by Labrie in the spring, the subject of which was, "The coming months of Slaypril and Slay."
"Thank you for enrolling," Labrie wrote in the email to the witness. "Welcome to an 8-week exercise in debauchery." The two boys also made a list of girls one night when "they had no homework," the witness said. One of the girls on the list was the accuser.
After Labrie's friends were done testifying, St. Paul's Dean of Students Chad Green took the stand. Green read aloud a "standard bearer contract" he said Labrie signed in order to become an official student leader and spoke of the sex policies and "age of consent" training Labrie received.
Green said he was aware of the Senior Salute ritual, as well as a "secret" map written on the wall of a dorm basement outlining all romantic and sexual relationships between students in the school. Though, he specified, it was not a sexual competition.
Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin – who specializes in sexual assault cases and young victims – said that the girl had a "very significant physical reaction" and that she "crumpled" when she brought the police to the scene of her alleged rape.
Labrie has maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty and claiming he never actually had sex with the girl, his lawyer, Carney, said in court last week.
The questioning of witnesses will resume on Tuesday.
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
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