The lawyer for former St. Paul’s School student Owen Labrie has asked a judge to suspend the remainder of his pending 12-month jail sentence, arguing that more than two years under ankle-bracelet monitoring and home confinement is adequate punishment.
Defense lawyer Jaye Rancourt filed the paperwork on Nov. 9, shortly after the New Hampshire Supreme Court rejected Labrie’s appeal of his 2015 conviction.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday morning on Labrie’s other appeal, which claims ineffective counsel during his high-profile trial. Labrie has not obtained bail while that second appeal is underway.
The jury cleared Labrie of felony sexual assault charges but convicted him of three sexual assault misdemeanors, the endangering misdemeanor, and felony use of a computer to entice a minor into sexual activity. His 12-month jail sentence was put on hold while Rancourt pursued the Supreme Court appeal on the conviction.
In filings in Merrimack County Superior Court, Rancourt asked a judge to suspend the sentence entirely.
She said Labrie already spent 63 days in jail after a 2016 curfew violation. Six weeks were served in solitary confinement, and he was a model prisoner, she said.
Since May 2016, Labrie has been under electronic monitoring and abided by a curfew of 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., Rancourt noted.
In rural Vermont, his opportunities for employment and further education were limited.
“Mr. Labrie has essentially been under house arrest for over two years,” Rancourt said. Labrie started working in June and is now employed full-time, she said.
In an objection, Assistant Merrimack County Attorney Joseph Cherniske noted that the victim’s family opposes a sentence reduction.
Cherniske said nothing has changed since 2015, when Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler issued the 12-month sentence.
Cherniske has asked for an expedited hearing to order the commencement of the sentence.