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Crime

Parents of Owen Labrie's Victim Sue Prestigious New Hampshire Prep School for Allegedly Turning 'a Blind Eye'

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Jim Cole/AP

A prestigious New Hampshire boarding school is being sued by the parents of a student who claims she was raped as part of an alleged tradition called the “Senior Salute,” in which the school’s male seniors competed to have sexual encounters with younger female students, PEOPLE confirms.

The suit against St. Paul’s School in Concord alleges administrators failed “to meet its most basic obligations to protect the children entrusted to its care,” and further contends a “warped culture of sexual misconduct and deviant moral norms” is allowed to pervade at the school.

PEOPLE obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which was filed on June 1.

The suit was filed by the parents of Owen Labrie’s victim, whom he allegedly raped when she was 15.

In August, Labrie, now 20, was convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault, endangering children and a felony charge of using a computer to lure his victim for sex. He was acquitted of the more serious rape charges, and was sentenced to a year in prison and required to register as a sec offender. Labrie is currently appealing the conviction.

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Last month, a New Hampshire judge ruled Labrie violated the terms of his bail on at least seven occasions, and ordered him to begin serving his one-year sentence inside the Merrimack County House of Corrections.

He is currently free on bail, awaiting a decision on whether he’ll be granted a new trial.

A statement from St. Paul’s administrators claims the suit “is without merit and we plan to vigorously defend ourselves. We categorically reject any allegations that St. Paul’s School has an unhealthy culture. The safety of our students has been and will continue to be the highest priority for our School.”

The suit alleges freshman girls are ranked according to their physical beauty upon arriving at the school, and that “senior men entrusted as dorm ‘prefects’ and with other honorific titles view the incoming girls as ‘fresh meat.’ ”

The filing also claims administrators “turned a blind eye to Labrie’s reputation as a sexual predator,” taking “no significant action to investigate” any of the claims made against him.

The lawsuit seeks $75,000 in compensatory damages and other relief.