“I want everyone to know that I am not afraid or ashamed anymore, and I never should have been, ” she said.
Prout testified at the trial, facing Labrie on the stand for three days.
“I feel ready to stand up and own what happened to me”, she said. “I am going to make sure other people, other girls, other boys, that they can own it, too, that they don’t have to be ashamed either”. After failing to obey the terms of his bail while awaiting his appeal, he was sentenced to one year in prison, but released after two months.
Yet upon returning, Prout told of the on-campus atmosphere being hostile, with upperclassmen boys refused to talk to her and school officials, according to Prout taking the situation lightly.
“The decision about whether to be public is an individual decision for every victim, and each victim knows what they need to best seek justice and heal”, she said. “And the fact that he was still able to pull the wool over a group of people’s eyes bothered me a lot”.
She eventually left the school and her family filed the civil suit against St. Paul’s, alleging the school had not done enough to ensure her safety and care.
A year after her sexual assault at St. Paul’s School made headlines, Chessy Prout says she’s exhausted of hiding.
“I have the right to say no”, Chessy said, explaining that she’ll be launching a new initiative, I Have the Right To, with the Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment (PAVE) organization to unite survivors of sexual assault and break the silence surrounding cases of sexual violence.
“I hope he learns”.
“I just can’t imagine how scary it is for other people to have to do this alone”, she added. In her statement, Chessy explained how she agreed to meet with the varsity soccer captain, but the date went horribly wrong and ended with her sexual assault.
“As was the case when the survivor was a student here and subsequently, the School admires her courage and condemns unkind behavior toward her”. They acquitted him on three counts of felony sexual assault.
St. Paul’s School has denied the allegations, saying they “categorically reject any allegations that St. Paul’s School has an unhealthy culture”. We feel deeply for her and her family. “This fresh look has brought about positive changes at the School”. “I have the right to say no, ‘” Chessy said during Tuesday’s interview. “And nobody was talking about the issue in itself, and they weren’t trying to prevent it from happening to anyone else”.
In the television interview, Prout said she sometimes gets panic attacks because of the assault and hides in her closet.
“Somebody’s got my back, and somebody’s going to believe me, and somebody’s going to help me”, she said.
St. Paul’s said it had taken steps including upgrading security systems and providing new training to students and staff on preventing sex assault.
“A question I was asked on the stand was ‘Well, why were you so hazy during that period?’ I looked at the defense attorney in disbelief and said, ‘I was raped.’ I was just trying to go smoothly and not cause any waves.”