Labrie's Chief Lawyer Defends His Efforts During Sexual Assault Trial

Feb 24, 2017

Well-known Boston attorney J.W. Carney stands by the defense he provided Owen Labrie, a former St. Paul's School student, during his 2015 trial for sexual assault.

On Thursday, Labrie's hearing for a new trial on the basis his legal team poorly represented him officially wrapped up after three days. Labrie, who's now 21, is free on bail while he appeals his one year sentence.

The three full days of hearings included testimony from all three of Labrie’s trial attorneys. The first lawyer, Jaye Rancourt, who’s also representing Labrie in his appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, said she  “failed” her client.

But Labrie’s co-and-lead counsel both believe their defense was effective – citing the more than 1,000 hours the legal team put into the case.

Owen Labrie, 21, consults with his current lawyer Robin Melone during the final day of his three day hearing for a new trial.
Credit Geoff Forrester/The Concord Monitor/POOL

And it was work Labrie's main attorney, J.W. Carney, said paid off. Carney said he managed to exclude damaging evidence that Labrie had a bad reputation with women on the St. Paul’s campus.

“There were a number of references throughout the discovery of other women who Owen had dated in which he had acted in ways, according to the women, that were very aggressive, that were forceful,” Carney testified.

The judge is expected to decide at the earliest next month. Labrie was convicted of having sex with a then-freshmen girl and minor while he was a senior at St. Paul’s. He was acquitted of aggravated sexual assault.