Prep school rape raises consent issues

The trial of Owen Labrie, a Concord, N.H., senior accused of raping a freshman girl, has gained national attention and raised issues of rape on school campuses.

While rape occurs often and to numerous people, some cases spark more attention and talk more than others.
In Concord, New Hampshire, last year at an elite prep high school a 14-year-old freshman girl claimed she was raped by an 18-year-old senior boy named Owen Labrie.  
Labrie was participating in a tradition known as the “senior salute.” The salute was a game between senior boys — whoever could get the most underclassmen to have sex with them before graduation was the winner.
This particular trial was complicated from the beginning. While the young girl claimed that Labrie raped her, texts and Facebook messages were released during the trial, with her telling him he “was a fun time.” 
They had spoken before the encounter over Facebook and she admitted to liking the attention he was giving her, but she thought maybe they would just make out and that would be the end of it. 
Labrie claims that he never had sex with her; he put a condom on but decided at the last  minute not to. His claim: they just kissed. Yet his sperm and semen were found on her underwear. 
As complicated as the trial was, to most it would seem to be obvious. He raped her and thought it was okay because she agreed to meet up with him and kiss him. 
It seems to be the same story, with hardly any justice — Labrie was cleared of three rape charges. 
While he was found guilty of 3 misdemeanor sex assault counts and a felony charge, whether or not he will serve up to 11 years or will have to be put up on a sex offender’s list won’t be known until sentencing on  Oct. 29.
This verdict has sparked quite a bit of attention from not only all national news associations, but students here at MCCC. 
“Her being a minor is where I have an issue,” student Kailey Christensen said. “Had she been older, at least of legal age, I wouldn’t see it as rape.” 
Student Anthony Szpaichler disagreed.
“With the messages she sent before and after the incident, I can see where the jury came from,” he said.
“No one was there other than the two of them, so no one will ever really know the truth. I’m not saying its fair. But I can see where the case mad it difficult to find a fair verdict.”