Throughout last year's high-profile trial of Owen Labrie, a former student at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire accused of raping a girl as part of a senior tradition, the victim remained anonymous. She didn't even come forward when Labrie was convicted. But on Tuesday, amid mounting legal pressure from the famous private school, she decided to reveal herself.
The "Today Show" aired an exclusive interview Tuesday morning with Chessy Prout, now 17. In the clip, she told host Savannah Guthrie she chose to speak out because she wanted to help other rape victims.
"It's been two years now since the whole ordeal, and I feel ready to stand up and own what happened to me, and I'm going to make sure that other people other boys other girls know that they can own it too and they don't have to be ashamed, either," Prout said.
Prout was a 15-year-old freshman when Labrie chose her as his mark for the "Senior Salute" — a sort of game among students where boys would court younger girls — and raped her in a campus maintenance room. Labrie was ultimately found not guilty of the harshest charge but was convicted for three rape-related misdemeanors, another misdemeanor for endangering the welfare of a child and a felony for using a computer to lure a minor.
In her Tuesday interview, Prout said she just wanted an apology from Labrie. She said that when she returned to St. Paul's after the rape, her male friends wouldn't look at her. She said she still has panic attacks related to the assault.
"I just can’t imagine how scary it is for other people to have to do this alone," she said, after promoting a women's bill of rights and #IHaveTheRightTo project she's working on. "And I don’t want anyone else to be alone."
Labrie served about two months in jail earlier this year after having his bail revoked in connection with violating curfew, according to ABC News. He was released with an ankle monitor in May. His legal team declined to comment to NECN about Prout's interview.