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Court filing: St. Paul’s parents helped fund Owen Labrie’s defense

Court filing: St. Paul’s parents helped fund Owen Labrie’s defense

Parents at St. Paul’s School, the Episcopal school in Concord, New Hampshire, helped fund the defense of accused Senior-salute rapist, Owen Labrie.

The Boston Globe:

St. Paul’s School marshaled its considerable resources to defend its reputation after a star pupil was accused of raping a 15-year-old girl on campus, and prominent parents chipped in $100,000 toward Owen Labrie’s criminal defense, according to new filings in the victim’s lawsuit against the school.

Thursday’s filing in federal court in New Hampshire follows a widely criticized effort by the school’s lawyers to set limits on the anonymity of Labrie’s victim and bar her family’s lawyers from discussing the case publicly — “the latest example of the school’s serial attempts to bully a child to whom it owed a legal and moral duty of care,” the family’s lawyers wrote.

The school’s objection to the family’s anonymity was an effort to silence the girl, the lawyers allege. But though the girl’s status as a minor should prevent the school’s lawyers from naming her in any way, Thursday’s filing withdrew the request for anonymity — and said the lawsuit would soon be resubmitted with real names.


The money allegedly helped graduate Owen Labrie pay for prominent attorney J.W. Carney, who represented notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger.

Labrie was ultimately sentenced to a year in prison for misdemeanor sexual assault and a felony use of a computer to lure a minor. He allegedly participated in an upperclassmen competition to have sex with female students before graduation.

Daily Beast:

Joshua Abram, co-founder of the members only co-working space NeueHouse, wrote an email to other parents and alumni seeking $100,000 to pay for Labrie’s experienced attorney, J.W. Carney. Abram noted that he was donating $10,000 himself and that Carney had successfully litigated similar cases. He beseeched other families “who feel that while the facts of this case can only be decided by a judge and jury, we can be united in the bedrock principle that Owen has the right to…a proper defense.”

The head of school is Michael Hirschfeld. The bishop of New Hampshire is Robert Hirschfeld. The men are brothers.
See also:

St. Paul’s School contests continued anonymity of sexual assault victim in federal civil suit – Concord Monitor

St. Paul’s School denies to alums they’re threatening to expose a sexual assault victim – Jezebel

The Rector of St. Paul’s School on privilege and ‘slaying.’ – Episcopal Café

Pastoral letter from Bishop Hirschfeld concerning Owen Labrie and St. Paul’s School – Episcopal Café

Bishop Hirschfeld – “Soon after the trial began in Concord, questions were raised about the relationship between St. Paul’s School and the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire.  St. Paul’s is a member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools.  Since its founding in 1859, the School is an “ecclesiastical peculiar” which means it has no legal or canonical connection to the Diocese.  The Bishop, who does not serve on its Board of Trustees, has no role in the School’s management or operations.”


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Helen Kromm

As this story continues to unfold, I didn’t think it was possible for it to continue to get worse. And I was mistaken in that assumption.

It’s interesting that this story appears simultaneously with the post that addresses the teen state of the Bible. That state of course being woeful. It’s also understandable.

As long as the name of our church is connected to this institution, and this is considered an Episcopal School, young people, with their keen sense of hypocrisy, will turn their backs on us. A church that allows that to happen shouldn’t question why young people eschew organized religion. They turn their backs on us because of institutions such as this.

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