A New Hampshire victim advocacy group is claiming partial victory in a social media campaign to get ABC’s Good Morning America to back down from an interview with Owen Labrie.
A jury found Labrie, who at the time was a graduating senior at the elite St. Paul’s School in Concord, of using a computer to lure an underage victim for sex. He was sentenced to a year behind bars.
The jury cleared him of felony-level sexual assault charges but convicted him of misdemeanor sexual assaults. Last month, he was released from the Merrimack County jail ahead of scheduled due to good behavior.
According to the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the GMA interview had been slated for last Wednesday but did not air after the organization launched a social media effort the previous evening.
“Airing this interview sends the message to victims that even after you find the strength to come forward, endure the criminal justice process and justice is finally served, the convicted predator will still be celebrated, valued and given the opportunity to discredit your experience,” Amanda Grady Sexton, the coalition’s director of public affairs, wrote on Facebook.
On the evening of July 16, Sexton posted that ABC News had run a promotion of the Labrie interview during an episode of the Bachelorette that aired the previous evening. It was shared 21 times. The following day, Sexton said the interview did not air when expected.
“Your advocacy is working,” she wrote. That post was shared 186 times.
The following day, another post was shared 47 times.
“Dear ABC: Please choose journalism over sensationalism. Stand with survivors and don’t give Owen Labrie a platform,” it read.
Good Morning America did not respond to an email seeking comment. An email to Jaye Rancourt, Labrie’s criminal defense lawyer, was not returned.
Labrie’s victim, Chessy Prout, has appeared on NBC’s Today show.