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Attorney appeals judge's decision to revoke Labrie's bail

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 02. 2016 8:27PM
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie looks around Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord at his trial in 2015. (AP POOL FILE)

MANCHESTER — Owen Labrie’s attorney has filed an appeal of a judge’s decision to revoke the former St. Paul’s prep school student’s bail.

Attorney Jaye Rancourt has asked the New Hampshire Supreme Court to vacate Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler’s decision that sent Labrie to jail on March 18.

“We believe that Judge Smukler’s order to revoke bail was in error and we’re hoping that the Supreme Court remedies it,” Rancourt said Monday.

Rancourt argued in the appeal filed Friday that Smukler focused on curfew violations that Labrie admitted to and thought he had cleared in advance.

“The Court did not acknowledge that it had considered the evidence that Mr. Labrie had consistently complied with all other conditions of his bail,” the brief stated.

Smukler also did not consider that Labrie believed he had received permission to exceed curfew times for the vast majority of bail violations presented by prosecutors, according to the brief.

Labrie’s bail conditions were more strict “than any other person supervised by Merrimack County Pretrial Services and that a slight modification of those conditions would ensure compliance,” the brief stated. “A slight modification would have not only ensured that Mr. Labrie was in compliance but would also enable this young man to continue educational pursuits as a way to better himself.”

Rancourt asked the Supreme Court to vacate the March 18 ruling and allow the defense to present an oral argument to the higher court.

Prosecutors had not yet responded to the appeal request as of Monday evening.

Rancourt’s motion is the latest in a complicated series of filings regarding Labrie’s appeal to a conviction on a felony charge of using a computer to entice or lure a child under 16 in order to commit a sexual assault. Under the conviction, Labrie is required to register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors last week filed motions asking for Rancourt to be disqualified from the appeal because of her role on the trial team representing Labrie during his trial. Rancourt acted as local counsel to two Boston attorneys who led the defense team. Rancourt has until Friday to respond to the prosecution’s motion.

Labrie was accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old freshman in 2014 when he was a senior at St. Paul’s, a prestigious boarding school in Concord, during a spring dating rite known as the “Senior Salute.”

A jury acquitted him of aggravated felonious sexual assault, but convicted him on three misdemeanor sexual assault charges, given the age of the 15-year-old girl.

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