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State Faces Thursday Deadline To Respond To Appeal In St. Paul's Rape Case

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Jim Cole/AP
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In August former St. Paul's student, Owen Labrie, was found guilty of statutory rape for having sex with a 15-year-old freshman girl.

Thursday is the last day for the state to respond to an appeal from Owen Labrie, a former St. Paul’s student who was convicted of statutory rape in August for having sex with a freshman girl.

Lawyers for Labrie are trying to overturn an illegal computer use charge, which states that Labrie used a computer to try to have sex with a 15-year-old minor. In August, a jury convicted Labrie on several misdemeanor charges, but found him not guilty on felony sexual assault charges. 

If the computer charge stands, the 19-year-old could face up to seven years in prison and have to register as a sex offender for life.

Labrie’s lawyer, J.W. Carney, argues the law is intended for pedophiles who prey on young women not teenagers talking on Facebook. In the court motion, Carney also states that the punishment for this crime heavily outweighs the punishment for the actual crime itself, which yields up to three years behind bars.

The judge will have until the sentencing hearing on October 29 to decide.  But by Thursday the state must make its case on why the charge should stand.

Currently Labrie is on house arrest at his mother’s home in Vermont.

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