03 Nov 2015

Jacobean Revenge Tragedy at St. Paul’s

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St. Paul graduate Owen Labrie had his admission and full scholarship to Harvard cancelled and went to trial and was convicted of a felony for arranging a liaison with a three-years-younger schoolmate via computer. Labrie will now be a felon and a registered sex offender for life. He was also sentenced to a year of imprisonment, as the result of declining to plead guilty and accept a lesser penalty.

I think it is pretty easy to form the right opinion of the justice of all of this, just by reading the New York Times‘ account of the victim’s perspective.

Appearing on a video screen, the victim of a sexual assault by an older student at one of the nation’s most exclusive boarding schools asked a judge here on Thursday to make sure her assailant was held accountable for a crime that, she said, had left her numb.

“What he did to me made me feel like I didn’t belong on this planet and that I would be better off dead,” the girl said.

She added: “Without just and right punishment, I really don’t know how I’ll put one foot in front of the other. I don’t want to feel imprisoned for the rest of my life. I want to be safe again. And I want justice.”


Caitlin Flanagan, in the New York Daily News, explains that the real reason Labrie’s life is being ruined is sociological.

Young men get away with treating girls badly all the time, but when it’s the poor boy on scholarship who has offended two daughters of a rich and important family and those scorned daughters are determined to get revenge, well, we are getting into the territory of the plot line of a play by Webster.

Labrie was… a star athlete — captain of the varsity soccer team — at one of the best prep schools in the country, and he was every other good thing you could be there: a prefect, an excellent student, the recipient of one of the school’s top awards and of an admission letter to Harvard. As such, in the narrative that gathered quickly around him, he was a monster, the one-man embodiment of white male privilege.

But there was one fact about him that couldn’t be reconciled with the others: He was also a poor kid on full scholarship, the only child of a single mother who says she went years without child support.

He had changed the trajectory of his life and hers when he got into St. Paul’s, but he forgot the first rule of being a scholarship boy at a prep school, which is that you don’t cause any trouble to the rich kids. When he singled out the younger sister of a girl with whom he’d already had a sexual relationship — when he created a situation that would either drive a wedge between the two girls or unite them in fury against him — he took his life in his hands.

“What a golden change of heart,” he texted the girl when she agreed, at last, to meet up with him. “You took my sister’s virginity,” screamed the older girl the next day, giving him a shiner he wore to graduation. It would have been an excellent time to keep his mouth shut, but he couldn’t help himself and he bragged about “slaying” the younger one. …

The jury didn’t like Labrie. They could not convict him of assault — not with the accuser saying that during the encounter she had “tried to seem cool,” had tried “not to offend him” — but the relentless scrolling of his plans and plots, typed out in Facebook messages and texts, did him in.

He’d been a cad, another old-fashioned word, but he hadn’t recognized that he wasn’t like the other boys, didn’t have a rich father who could fly out and stop him from talking for hours to the cops without counsel.

In the time-honored manner of the only sons of single mothers, he had been trying to protect her as much as — maybe even more than — himself.

He’d seen men be callous toward women all his life — saw his father’s child support go in arrears, watched as senior boys tricked younger girls for sex. It is, indeed, a custom there, the “senior salute.”

At the end of the day, all Labrie was left with were the remnants of those traditions: the herringbone jacket, the tortoise shell glasses — and a prison term. …

[H]e was out of his league, toying with the affections of rich girls, leaving a record of his cruelty a mile long. He got caught doing something women have always feared and loathed: tricking them, flattering them, taking sex from them and making a joke of them. And now he’s been crushed for it.

Hat tip to Frank Dobbs.


The judge should have allowed Labrie the option of enlisting in the US military and avoiding trial.

6 Feedbacks on "Jacobean Revenge Tragedy at St. Paul’s"


There is so much wrong going on here I couldn’t possibly cover it all.
1. The computer used to coerce sex with a younger girl was supposed to catch 30, 40 50 year old men trying to have sex with 13-15 year old girls. It was not intended to destroy a boys life when he asks a schoolmate out on facebook and they have consensual sex. This is a travesty of the laws intent.
2. The girl consented and was fine with it until the prosecutor and her parents convinced her she should strongly object. The prosecutor in this case deserves jail time.
3. This is about the larger fight between (mostly) lesbians and men. It is called the “rape culture” but it is about misandry. Every state and every large city has female prosecutors searching out cases like this where they can put men in jail for being men.
4. Registering as a sex offender for life. Give me a break. First of all there is probably little value in even registering actual sex offenders but registering boys who have consensual sex with girls is as stupid as it gets.
This boy should have got “the talk” from his father before he went to this school. There are predatory females in positions of power who want to punish men. Guilt is meaningless it is all about gender and getting even for some old hurt.
After the fact this boy should have got the talk about treating women better and not being a jerk and destroying her reputation on facebook or in the locker room. That is in the end all he did wrong. Just sad, very sad. I hope someday this girl understands the harm she has caused.


I felt badly for the kid before o found out he was a poor kid on scholarship.

The “anything goes” sexual revolution has done an ENORMOUS disservice to both young men and women. (And “ENORMOUS disservice” is a gross understatement.) There was a very good reason we had the societal conventions in place.


He should have been allowed to join the Army? I would not want the man in my platoon.

Jerry the Geek

“He should have been allowed to join the Army? I would not want the man in my platoon.”


As it turns out, sometimes the meanest man in the platoon is the best asset.

I had a man in my platoon who was a revolutionary black; he was proud and feisty, and threatened to murder me with a hand grenade on more than one occasion.

I made him my point man.

Oh point he was VERY careful, always alert, took his time when travelling from point “A” to point “B” because … my previous point man had missed a 3-grenade booby-trap and the pace man (the man walking just behind him and keeping track of the distance traveled) took a piece of shrapnel in the heart.

So I replaced the wounded point man with this very frightened and cautious fellow.

One time we were the lead platoon for a battalion-sized movement. The Colonel in charge radioed me and complained that we were moving too slow.

I replied (on open channel) “My point man sets the pace, and I trust his judgement. If you want a faster point, you will have to replace my platoon with another. We’ll be glad to take trail position, and will wait quietly while the dust-off helicopters removes the bodies.”

Lt. Col. “somebody” (I never bothered to remember his name) did not reply, and I heard no criticism when the operation was over and we were back in our NDP.

So … I disagree. I think that young man with the attitude could prove very useful in combat.

Oh, my replacement point man? He was PROUD that he was now considered the bravest man in the Battalion. He still hated me but nobody died when he was in the lead.

Dan Kurt

re: “only child of a single mother ”

His picture appears to be that of a white male. His actions appear that of a ghetto bastard.

Instead of celebrating single motherhood the culture would be better off shaming fallen women as in the past.

My question is what kind of Judge and Prosecutor were involved: were they females?

Dan Kurt

Karie Schneider

Um……..a girl who cold-cocks a guy for “taking” her sister’s virginity, or for any reason other than self-defense, has committed ASSAULT. If he has broken the Law, report him to the police. Otherwise, YOU keep YOUR hands to YOURSELF.

To be honest, it sounds like just another excuse to justify violent behavior to another human being….the Abuse Excuse, vicariously.


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