Former prep school student convicted of sex charges

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Former St. Paul Student Found Not Guilty of Felony Rape

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A graduate of an exclusive New England prep school was cleared of rape but convicted Friday of lesser sex offenses against a 15-year-old freshman girl in a case that exposed a tradition in which seniors competed to see how many younger students they could have sex with.

A jury of nine men and three women took eight hours to reach its verdict in the case against Owen Labrie, who was accused of forcing himself on the girl in a dark and noisy mechanical room at St. Paul's School in Concord two days before he graduated in 2014.

SEE MORE: Rape suspect wrote he used 'every trick' for sex with girl

Labrie, who was bound for Harvard and planned to take divinity classes before his arrest put everything on hold, could get as much as 11 years in prison at sentencing Oct. 29. The 19-year-old from Tunbridge, Vermont, will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

He wept upon hearing the verdict, and then, as his lawyers conferred with the judge, sat alone at the defense table, shaking his head slightly and looking up at the ceiling. His mother sobbed. His accuser appeared stoic and huddled with members of her family in the courtroom.

"Owen's future is forever changed," defense attorney J.W. Carney said, adding that the sex convictions will be like "a brand, a tattoo" that he will bear for life.

Click through to see more images from the trial:

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Former prep school student convicted of sex charges
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie raises his hand as he is sworn-in prior to testifying in his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
While the jury still deliberates, former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie, left, leaves the Merrimack Superior Court at the end of day with security in tow Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, Pool)
Owen Labrie looks around the courtroom during his trial, in Merrimack County Superior Court, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. During opening statements, prosecutors said Labrie raped a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Recent St. Paul's School graduate Owen Labrie, right, stands with one of his lawyers, J.W. Carney, as jurors view the school grounds, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
The entrance to the elite St. Paul’s School is seen Friday Aug. 14, 2015 in Concord, N.H., Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, Owen Labrie, a former student, goes on trial Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, for taking part in a practice at the school known as “Senior Salute” where graduating boys try to take the virginity of younger girls before the school year ends. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Owen Labrie, right, talks with his lawyer during his trial, in Merrimack County Superior Court, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. During opening statements, prosecutors said Labrie raped a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle delivers her opening arguments against Owen Labrie to the jury in the Merrimack County Superior Court, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Owen Labrie's defense attorney J.W. Carney, left, gives his opening arguments as prosecutor Catherine Ruffle, lower right and Judge Larry Smukler listen Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Recent St. Paul's School graduate Owen Labrie, second from left, stands between his lawyers J.W. Carney, left, and Sam Zaganjori, as prosecutor Catherine Ruffle walks by as the jury visits the school, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Former St. Paul's student Owen Labrie confers with his lawyer before the start of the second day of his trial at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. Labrie is accused of raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Former St. Paul's student Owen Labrie waits for the second day of his trial to begin at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. Labrie is accused of raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Tucker Marchese testifies Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, in the trial of Owen Labrie at the Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Malcom Salovaara testifies Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, during the trial of Owen Labrie at the Merrimack County Superior Court Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman in 2014 as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Andrew Thomas testifies Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, during the trial of Owen Labrie at the Merrimack County Superior Court Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman in 2014 as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Defendant Owen Labrie, left, and his attorney Jay Carney are seen in court at his trial at the Merrimack County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Concord, N.H., after Carney's cross examination of the former student who accused Labrie of raping her in May of 2014. Labrie is charged with raping the then-15-year-old girl at St. Paul's School in Concord two days before he graduated in 2014. (Geoff Forester/Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie stands next to a map of his school's campus in his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie testifies in his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie holds his arms over his head as he describes how he disrobed a female classmate while testifying in his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie arrives for his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
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The scandal cast a harsh light on the 159-year-old boarding school that has long been a training ground for America's elite. Its alumni include Secretary of State John Kerry, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau, at least 13 U.S. ambassadors, three Pulitzer Prize winners, and sons of the Astor and Kennedy families. Students pay $53,810 a year in tuition, room and board.

Prosecutors said the rape was part of Senior Salute, which Labrie described to detectives as a competition in which graduating seniors tried to have sex with underclassmen and kept score on a wall behind a set of washing machines.

The young man was acquitted of the most serious charges against him - three counts of felony rape, each punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison. But he was found guilty of three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault, using a computer to lure a minor for sex, and child endangerment.

Essentially, the jury by its verdicts signaled it didn't believe Labrie's assertion that there was no intercourse, but it also didn't believe the girl's contention that it was against her will. In the end, it found Labrie guilty of having sex with an underage girl.

The girl is "leaving with her head held high," said Laura Dunn, a spokeswoman for the teenager and her family. "It was a step in the right direction.

See Labrie's reaction to the verdict:

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Owen Labrie Rape Trial Verdict
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Former prep school student convicted of sex charges
Owen Labrie, center, listens to a recorded statement from his victim with his lawyer J.W. Carney, left, and Sam Zaganjoir before being sentenced in Merrimack County Superior Court Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Concord, N.H. The graduate of the exclusive St. Paulâs School was sentenced to a year in jail for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old freshman girl as part of a tradition in which upperclassmen competed to rack up sexual conquests. Labrie was allowed to remain free on bail while he appeals his conviction. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Owen Labrie, center, listens to his lawyer J.W. Carney before being sentenced in Merrimack County Superior Court Thursday Oct. 29, 2015 in Concord, N.H. The graduate of the exclusive St. Paulâs School was sentenced to a year in jail for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old freshman girl as part of a tradition in which upperclassmen competed to rack up sexual conquests. Labrie was allowed to remain free on bail while he appeals his conviction. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Former St. Paul's student Owen Labrie puts his hands to his face as his verdict is read at Merrimack County Superior Court on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 in Concord, N.H. Labrie was cleared of felony rape but convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses Friday against a 15-year-old girl in a case that exposed a campus tradition in which the oldest students competed to see how many younger students they could have sex with. Each count carries up to a year behind bars. Labrie could get as much as 11 years in prison at sentencing Oct. 29. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Owen Labrie closes his eyes as his verdict is read at Merrimack County Superior Court on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 in Concord, N.H. Labrie was cleared of felony rape but convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses Friday against a 15-year-old girl in a case that exposed a campus tradition in which the oldest students competed to see how many younger students they could have sex with. Each count carries up to a year behind bars. Labrie could get as much as 11 years in prison at sentencing Oct. 29. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Owen Labrie leaves Merrimack Superior Court with his attorney Jay Carney in Concord, N.H. , on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 in Concord, N.H. Labrie was cleared of felony rape but convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses Friday against a 15-year-old girl in a case that exposed a campus tradition in which the oldest students of St. Paul's School competed to see how many younger students they could have sex with. Each count carries up to a year behind bars. Labrie could get as much as 11 years in prison at sentencing Oct. 29. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Owen Labrie looks over at jury as his verdict is read at Merrimack County Superior Court on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 in Concord, N.H. Labrie was cleared of felony rape but convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses Friday against a 15-year-old girl in a case that exposed a campus tradition in which the oldest students competed to see how many younger students they could have sex with. Each count carries up to a year behind bars. Labrie could get as much as 11 years in prison at sentencing Oct. 29. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Attorney J.W. Carney puts his arm around Owen Labrie, as he weeps in court after his verdict is read at Merrimack County Superior Court on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 in Concord, N.H. Labrie was cleared of felony rape but convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses Friday against a 15-year-old girl in a case that exposed a campus tradition in which the oldest students competed to see how many younger students they could have sex with. Each count carries up to a year behind bars. Labrie could get as much as 11 years in prison at sentencing Oct. 29. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2015, file photo, St. Paul's School graduate Owen Labrie, 19, raises his hand to be sworn-in prior to testifying in his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H. Labrie was convicted Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old classmate. He will be required to register as a sex offender for life, a punishment his lawyer likened to being branded and legal experts and reform advocates said exceeds the crime. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool, File)
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie looks around the courtroom during a break in his trial Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
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But the girl's family lashed out at the prep school, saying in a statement: "We still feel betrayed that St. Paul's School allowed and fostered a toxic culture that left our daughter and other students at risk to sexual violence. We trusted the school to protect her and it failed us."

St. Paul's rector Michael G. Hirschfeld commended "the remarkable moral courage and strength demonstrated by the young woman who has suffered through this nightmare," and said the prep school is committed to teaching its students to act honorably.

Labrie was allowed to remain free on $15,000 bail while he awaits sentencing.

The aspiring minister and captain of the school soccer team testified that he and the girl made out, but he said he stopped short of intercourse because he suddenly decided "it wouldn't have been a good choice for me."

He acknowledged bragging to friends that he had intercourse with the girl, but he said that was a lie told to impress them. He also admitted deleting 119 Facebook messages, including one in which he boasted that he "pulled every trick in the book" to have sex with her.

In graphic and sometimes tearful testimony, the girl, now 16, said she willingly went with Labrie to the rooftop of an academic building after he invited her to take part in Senior Salute, a tradition she knew about. But she said she was prepared for kissing at most.

She said that Labrie soon become aggressive and that she told him, "No, no, no" as he moved his face toward her crotch. She said he eventually penetrated her, and she felt "frozen" - incapable of moving or reacting.

"I tried to block out the feeling as much as I could," she said. "I didn't want to believe this was happening to me."

Under cross-examination, she said she helped Labrie remove her shirt and pants. And she acknowledged exchanging breezy email and Facebook messages with Labrie in the hours afterward, saying she kept the conversation light because she was trying to find out whether he had worn a condom.

After Labrie's arrest, St. Paul's announced it would expel anyone participating "in any game, `tradition,' or practice of sexual solicitation or sexual conquest under any name." The school, which first admitted girls in 1971 and has about 530 students, also brought in experts to discuss such topics as harassment and relationships.

Carney, Labrie's lawyer, said the young man's boasts about having sex with the girl amounted to the most damning evidence against him. He said Labrie was convicted because he wasn't mature enough to tell his friends the truth.

WATCH: Accuser's family says 'a measure of justice has been served':

NH Prep School Student: 'A Measure of Justice Has Been Served'

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