Detective testifies to school grad's 'divine inspiration'

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The attorney for a young man accused of raping a fellow student at an elite prep school in New Hampshire questioned police tactics, suggesting Tuesday that his client had been treated unfairly.

Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin previously outlined in an affidavit and testified Tuesday in the trial of 19-year-old Owen Labrie that he told her he had a playful encounter with the girl last year before graduating from St. Paul's School but stopped short of having sex after a moment of "divine inspiration."

Curtin said Labrie told her "it would be the end of my life," if he had sex with the girl, The Boston Globe ( reported.

On cross-examination, Labrie's attorney, J.W. Carney, said the detective had tried to catch Labrie off-guard by driving to Vermont to interview him and speaking to him without his parents present. The defense argues the two teenagers, then 18 and 15, had consensual sexual contact.

Investigators first met Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, and his mother at a coffee shop, but after detectives said it would be better to talk at the police station, he agreed to be interviewed without his mother for nearly four hours.

Curtin acknowledged Tuesday that she wanted to separate Labrie from his mother to get his side of the story. She said that during the interview, Labrie often mentioned his accomplishments in school, later sent her his college admission essay and at one point asked, "Do you know anything about me?"

Carney also accused the detective of asking Labrie repeatedly whether he had sex with the girl.

"What really delayed this interview was the number of times you kept saying the same question over and over," Carney said.

Prosecutors say Labrie was two days away from graduation when he raped the girl in a building on the grounds of St. Paul's as part of Senior Salute, a campus tradition in which seniors try to have sex with underclassmen.

Previous witnesses testified Labrie was competing with friends to see how many girls they could "score" before graduation and they described a range of sexual encounters from kissing to intercourse.

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