Chessy Prout was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted by graduating senior Owen Labrie at the prestigious St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. The trial happened last year and Labrie was convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault as well as felony computer-related crimes. Prout’s identity was shielded by law, but she recently decided she was done hiding. This morning, she made herself known in an interview with TODAY.
“It’s been two years now since the whole ordeal. I feel ready to stand up and own what happened to me and I’m going to make sure other people—other boys and girls—know they don’t have to be ashamed either,” Prout told Samantha Guthrie.
Labrie was accused of raping Prout during a “Senior Salute,” which many students identified as a tradition in which senior boys try to have sex with younger girls.
“We had been prepared to just receive an apology letter,” Prout told Guthrie when questioned about what happened after the assault occurred. “We had been prepared to finish this and just move forward with our lives and let them move forward with their lives, but, you know what, in the pursuit of justice I would’ve done anything.”
For three days, Prout testified at the trial and grew frustrated by Labrie’s lawyers. “[I remember him asking], ‘Why were you so hazy during this period?’ I looked at the defense attorney in disbelief and said ‘I was raped!’”
Prout also revealed that she was “frustrated” by the overall verdict. She says that Labrie was able to convince the jury that he wasn’t in his right mind when the rape occurred, which led to lesser misdemeanor assault charges.
“He definitely did it knowingly,” Prout said. “I hope he learns and I hope he gets help. If he doesn’t learn, he will do it to another woman.”
Labrie is appealing his conviction.