Accuser in New Hampshire rape trial crumpled in interview: detective

By Ted Siefer
August 25, 2015

A sign marks the entrance to St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, August 20, 2015.
Photo by Brian Snyder

A teenaged student at an elite New Hampshire boarding school who has accused a former student of raping her last year crumpled when describing the alleged attack, said a detective who is due back on the witness stand on Tuesday.

Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin, who led the investigation into the alleged May 2014 rape at St. Paul's School said the victim had been poised during an initial interview but broke down when brought to the steps of the building where she said the incident occurred.

"She had very a significant physical reaction. She crumpled into her mom's arms and her family took her out of there," Curtin testified on Monday in the trial of 19-year-old Owen Labrie, who is charged with sexually assaulting the girl days before his graduation.

The trial has cast a harsh light on the culture at the exclusive boarding school, whose alumni include Secretary of State John Kerry. Students have testified that it was common for graduating seniors to extend invitations to younger students to get together for so-called "senior salutes," often for sexual purposes.

St. Paul's has said that the alleged tradition does not reflect its values.

The alleged victim last week testified that when she accepted Labrie's invitation, she thought they would kiss but no more, and had not been prepared for his aggressive approach.

Defense attorney J.W. Carney said that the two had a consensual encounter that did not include intercourse.

Labrie is expected to testify in his own defense before the trial's conclusion, which could come as early as this week.

He has pleaded not guilty to three felony sexual assault charges, which each carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.


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