After Chessy Proutwent on NBC’s “Today” show to publicly identify herself as Owen Labrie’s victim in the high-profile New Hampshire prep school sexual assault case, Labrie’slawyers appeared on the “CBS MorningShow” on Tuesday to respond to her statements.
In her interview, Proutbrought up how the jury “didn’t believe that [Labrie] did it knowingly”—even though she believesthat he did—and how the verdict”disgusted” her.
Labrie’s lawyers, Jaye Rancourt and Robin Malone, reiterated on Tuesday morningthat though Proutbelieves Labrieassaulted herknowingly, that’s “not what the jury found.”
“Owen was tried on aggravated felonious sexual assault charges, which is what we typically defined as rape, ornon consensualcontact,” Rancourt said. “The jury acquitted him.That means they found him innocent, they foundthat he did not do that.”
Labrie was found guily onthreemisdemeanor counts of having sex with a person under the age of consent as well as using a computer to seduce a minor.
Prout also commented in her interview that she would not have pressed charges if she received a letter of apology. Labrie’s lawyers stated on “CBS This Morning” that they were not aware ofthis option.
“To the best of our knowledge, that was never offered as a plea bargain,” said Rancourt. “Just offer an apology and the charges would go away? That was never offered.”
Malone told CBS reporters that she and Rancourt are pursuing a new trial, with the next hearing on Oct. 5.
When asked if they believed Prout was lying in her interview, Labrie’s lawyers said that they cannot comment on her statements but were troubled that they were not challenged.
“We were troubled that, when she’s interviewed and she makes statements purporting to know what the jury was thinking, that that statement goes unchallenged in the media, and that then it’s picked up that he’s a rapist, that he’s a predator, that he’s this horrible person, when the facts are that he was found innocent of that conduct,” Rancourt said.”And when you’re innocent, you’re innocent, bottom line.”
See the full “CBS This Morning” interview with Rancourt and Malone here.