The survivor of a campus sexual assault at a prestigious New England prep school has come forward and publicly identified herself for the first time since the case made headlines last year. Chessy Prout says she was a 15-year-old student at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, when Owen Labrie, a senior, sexually assaulted her during a ritual called the “Senior Salute,” in which seniors try and have sex with younger girls at the school. Prout pressed charges against Labrie, and he went to trial last year and was convicted on three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault, as well as felony illegal use of computer services and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. But throughout the trial, Prout’s identity was shielded.
“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,” Prout said during an appearance on NBC’s Today show Tuesday morning.
“I want everyone to know that I am not afraid or ashamed anymore, and I never should have been,” she said.
Labrie, now 20, is currently free on bail as he appeals his conviction. During the trial, he was acquitted of three felony charges of sexual assault. Prout said she was “frustrated” by the jury’s decision to acquit Labrie on the more serious felony charges, saying that he assaulted her “knowingly,” though the jury disagreed.
“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.
Watch the interview below:
Read the full story at NBC News.