Labrie faces up to 11 years in prison, a fairly severe penalty.
But the jury did not accept the argument that Labrie raped the 15-year-old.
While the full answer is thorny, the upshot is simple.
The jury found that Labrie Under New Hampshire law, an individual is guilty of aggravated felonious sexual assault if he penetrates someone after she indicates that she doesn’t “freely consent,” or before she has “an adequate chance to flee and/or resist.” The jury found Labrie not guilty on these counts.
This most recent case has apparently gained internet traction in the public view only because it involves teenagers of the same sex.
Florida prosecutors have for decades been charging mostly heterosexual teenage males with the sex offense “lewd and lascivious assault or battery” upon their teenage girlfriends.
With that finding, the jury essentially held that prosecutors had not proved the girl resisted sexual contact.
The jury also found Labrie not guilty of simple assault.
• In 2008 in Florida, 22-year-old Morris Williams was imprisoned for having consensual sex with Alisha Dean, whose Facebook page said she was 19 when she was actually 13.
• And in 1997, a Rhode Island judge sentenced 21-year-old Dylan Healy to 12 years for having consensual sex with 13-year-old Heather Kowalski, who ran away from home to live with him, testified in his defense, cried at his sentencing, and swore that when he was released, she would marry him.
The bottom line is this, in Florida it is a sex offense to engage in sexual activity with a person fifteen years old or younger, even if the sexual contact is consensual. In Florida, minors who are fifteen years old or younger can’t legally consent to engaging in sexual contact.
Of course, this current prosecution is outrageous, but it is founded upon a Florida statute that clearly prohibits sexual activity with anyone fifteen years old or younger.
But he still had penetrative sex with a girl under 16, the jury believed.