Chessy Prout Sheds Anonymity To Talk About Sexual Assault, Owen Labrie
Chessy Prout, the teen girl who accused her St. Paul’s School classmate Owen Labrie of sexually assaulting her, has come forward publicly.
Chessy Prout Speaks Out
Prout, 17, who was 15 at the time of the incident with Labrie, has been shielded in anonymity by law. Even though Prout is legally still able to remain anonymous, she has decided to speak out about her sexual assault, Labrie and the troubling court trial.
Prout recently sat down alongside her parents and older sister to share her side of the story with Today‘s Savannah Guthrie. “I want everyone to know that I am not afraid or ashamed anymore, and I never should have been,” Prout explained. “It’s been two years now since the whole ordeal, and I feel ready to stand up and own what happened to me and make sure other people, other girls and boys, don’t need to be ashamed, either.”
Though Prout’s identity has been hidden up until now, she did testify against Labrie during the trial.
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“It was something that was necessary,” Prout said. “Although it was scary and although it was pretty difficult…I wouldn’t be where I am today without having been able to speak up for myself during that time.”
Labrie, now 20, was acquitted on three counts of felony sexual assault, but convicted on three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault in his trial last year. He was also convicted of felony illegal use of computer services and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. Labrie is currently in the process of appealing the verdict, and remains out of jail.
“They said that they didn’t believe that he did it knowingly, and that frustrated me a lot because he definitely did do it knowingly,” Prout told Guthrie. “And the fact that he was still able to pull the wool over a group of people’s eyes bothered me a lot and just disgusted me in some way.”
In the end, Prout hopes that even though Labrie was not convicted on the more serious charges, that he will still learn from the trial and his convictions.
“I hope he learns,” Prout said. “I hope he gets help. And that’s all I can ever hope for in any sort of process like this. Because if he doesn’t learn, he will do it to another young woman.”
Prout also hopes that by her coming forward, she will encourage other young women to feel confortable standing up for themselves.
“I want other people to feel empowered and just strong enough to be able to say, ‘I have the right to my body. I have the right to say no,'” Prout said.
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