Owen A. Labrie, who was expected to be a member of the College’s Class of 2018 before he was accused of sexual assault, was arrested Friday for breaking his court-imposed curfew.
Labrie, now 20, was accused of raping a then-15 year-old girl at the prestigious St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire two years ago, as part of a tradition known as the “senior salute.” He was acquitted of felony sexual assault charges but found guilty in August 2015 of multiple misdemeanors and one felony charge of using a computer to solicit a minor.
Labrie was out on a $15,000 bail and had to abide by a curfew that required him to be home between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. every day.
Judge Larry M. Smukler of the Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., revoked the bail Friday and sentenced Labrie to one year in the Merrimack County House of Corrections. Labrie could serve only eight months of his 12-month sentence but will have to register as a sex offender if he loses his appeal.
Officials began investigating Labrie after reporter Susan Zalkind saw him on a train in Boston last month, later writing about their conversation on Vice.
Labrie’s lawyer, Jaye L. Rancourt, wrote in her objections to the court that Labrie did follow the curfew, but only broke it for classes and visitations with his attorneys J.W. Carney and Sam Zaganjori. Rancourt also said Zalkind “accosted” Labrie on the train but David Marek, a spokesperson for Vice Media, denied the claims.
Harvey A. Silverglate, a longtime Cambridge lawyer who has advised Harvard students in proceedings with the Administrative Board, said he disagreed with Smukler’s ruling.
“I think it’s a hypertechnical violation that shouldn’t have been the subject of a revocation," he said, saying he thought Labrie posed no danger to anyone when violating his curfew.
Silverglate also said Labrie should have taken the terms of his release on bail more seriously, especially since Silverglate thinks Labrie has a chance of winning his appeal.
“He was a fool for getting himself into a position where he could end up serving all or most of the sentence before the appeal is decided,” Silverglate said. “He might have avoided the jail sentence altogether.”
Labrie was accepted to the College’s Class of 2018. Though Harvard has not confirmed whether it rescinded his admission or he withdrew his application, Labrie did not enroll.
Labrie’s lawyers and Merrimack Court officials could not be reached for comment Sunday.
—Staff writer Beth Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @thebethyoung
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