The parents of Owen Labrie's teenage victim filed a lawsuit against the elite St. Paul's School for "fostering, permitting and condoning a tradition of ritualized statutory rape," which students call the "Senior Salute," and for failing to meet its basic duty of protecting their daughter.
In August 2015, Labrie stood trial for allegedly luring a freshman student to the top of a math and science building at the elite St. Paul's School in May 2014 and raping a then-15-year-old girl, who was under the age of consent. The incident happened during a tradition St. Paul's known as the "senior salute," whereby male and female students invite underclassmen out on dates.
"Because of this deliberate indifference and SPS' failure to take any meaningful steps to do anything about the Senior Salute tradition," the complaint reads, "Labrie and his Slaymaker cohorts were able, in furtherance of their competition, to arrange private nighttime meetings with SPS students to, as Labrie described in his essay in [the student newspaper], "scor[e] in dirty Schoolhouse closets."
The victim's parent allege in the lawsuit that in the days leading up to commencement top St. Paul's officials "received but failed to act upon specific warnings regarding senior men targeting underage girls."
The girl — who is not named in the suit — was subjected to "outright bullying," according to the lawsuit.
"In one incident the SPS men's hockey team — a top of the social order at the school — intimidated her as she walked by on one of her first days back to school at the start of the new terms, standing in unison, pointing and staring her down," the lawsuit reads.
The girl eventually withdrew from the school.
"We believe this lawsuit is without merit, and we plan to vigorously defend ourselves," a statement released by St. Paul's School reads. "We categorically reject any allegations that St. Paul's School has an unhealthy culture. The safety of our students has been and will continue to be the highest priority for our School."
Read the full complaint:
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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