Madison Brooks news latest: Four men charged in LSU student rape before her death

Louisiana sorority student Madison Brooks fatally struck by car after alleged rape

Four men have been arrested for allegedly raping a Louisiana State University student before abandoning her in a dark road, where she was struck by a ride-share car and killed.

Madison Brooks, a 19-year-old Alpha Phi sorority sister, spent the night of 14 January at Reggie’s Bar in Baton Rouge where she allegedly met her attackers.

Investigators said Brooks was then sexually assaulted by the four men in a car before they dropped her off along a road in the early hours of 15 January. A driver then hit the 19-year-old and she died hours later in hospital.

Kaivon Deondre Washington, 18, and a 17-year-old male who has not been named due to his age have been charged with third-degree rape. Mr Washington’s uncle Everette Lee, 28, and Casen Carver, 18, are charged with principal to rape.

An attorney for two of the suspects has claimed to local outlet KSLA that footage of the alleged sexual assault proves that they are innocent and that the late 19-year-old consented. However, at the three adult suspects’ bond hearing on Tuesday, a judge said that the footage – along with other evidence – actually proves a crime did occurr.

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Prosecutors vow to upgrade charges

Now, prosecutors in the case have also vowed to upgrade the charges against the alleged attackers.

Prosecutor Stuart Theriot said at Tuesday’s bond hearing that the state would seek upgraded charges of first-degree rape and planned to convene a grand jury in the case.

Kaivon Deondre Washington, 18, and a 17-year-old male who has not been named due to his age have been charged with third-degree rape. Mr Washington’s uncle Everette Lee, 28, and Casen Carver, 18, are charged with principal to rape.

Mr Washington had his bond set by 19th Judicial District Judge Brad Myers at $150,000. Mr Lee was given a $75,000 bond and Mr Carver was given a $50,000 bond.

The 17-year-old’s bond hearing has been postponed to February.

Oliver O’Connell25 January 2023 15:00

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Liquor licence suspended at bar where LSU student met alleged attackers

The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control announced on Tuesday that it was issuing an emergency suspension for Reggie’s bar in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following the tragic death of 19-year-old Madison Brooks.

The agency cited “the seriousness of the allegations and the potential threat to public safety”.

Oliver O’Connell25 January 2023 14:40

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Autopsy shows injuries consistent with sexual assault, say authorities

An autopsy confirmed that Madison Brooks had injuries consistent with a sexual assault attack, according to an arrest warrant.

Investigators said that the victim and the four suspects met at a bar on 14 January before she allegedly asked them to drop her off. Mr Carver told authorities that Mr Washington and the unidentified minor asked the victim to have sex with them but admitted she was intoxicated, stumbling and slurring her words.

The men then dropped her off in a neighbourhood near Pelican Lakes Parkway. While standing in a dark portion of the roadway around 3am, Brooks was hit by a vehicle and died hours later in the hospital.

Footage from the bar seized by investigators reportedly showed her falling several times in front of at least one of the suspects before they left the business.

Mr Carver told police that Brooks was “very unstable on her feet, was not able to keep her balance, and was unable to speak clearly without slurring her words.”

Despite her state of intoxication, two of the suspects proceeded to have intercourse with her inside the car, Mr Carver told police. He later said that he “felt uncomfortable and hated it.”

When asked by investigators if he believed Brooks was too impaired to consent, Mr Carver reportedly said, “I guess.”

Rachel Sharp25 January 2023 14:20

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Sorority pays tribute to Madison Brooks

LSU’s Alpha Phi chapter paid tribute to its sorority sister Madison Brooks in a post on the group’s Facebook page.

“We are grieving the sudden and tragic loss of our sister, Madison Brooks, following the accident that took her life. Madison was a sophomore and made a lasting impact on all of us,” the statement read.

“She was also a hero and was able to donate her heart and kidneys to save others. We send our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this incredibly difficult time. And we respectfully ask for time and space so we may support each other in our healing process. AOE”

Rachel Sharp25 January 2023 14:00

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Reggie’s Bar says it is cooperating with investigators

The bar where Madison Brooks spent her last night has said it is cooperating with investigators.

Madison Brooks, a 19-year-old Alpha Phi sorority sister, had spent the night of 14 January at Reggie’s Bar in Baton Rouge where she allegedly met her attackers.

Footage of her at the bar shows her falling over several times, according to an arrest warrant.

Investigators said Brooks was then sexually assaulted by the four men – aged 17 to 28 – in a car before they dropped her off along a road in a neighbourhood near Pelican Lakes Parkway in the early hours of 15 January. She was struck by a car and killed.

Kris Perret, an attorney for the bar, said in a statement to NOLA.com: “The owner of Reggie’s has fully cooperated with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police and the East Baton Rouge ABC office since their first requests for assistance in their ongoing investigations and will continue to do so

Rachel Sharp25 January 2023 13:30

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LSU president vows to investigate bar for underage drinking

LSU President William F Tate has said that the university will investigate why the establishment where the victim met the suspects was serving alcohol to minors.

“Madison was a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a niece, a classmate, and a friend to many of you. By all accounts, she was an amazing young woman with limitless potential,” Mr Tate said in a statement.

“She should not have been taken from us in this way. What happened to her was evil, and our legal system will parcel out justice.”

He continued: “In the coming days, we will call a meeting with these business owners to discuss how their responsibilities directly impact the safety of our students. We will work openly against any business that doesn’t join us in efforts toward creating a safer environment for our students. Enough is enough.”

Rachel Sharp25 January 2023 13:00

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‘A tragedy, definitely not a crime,’ claims suspects’ attorney

An attorney for two of the suspects accused of raping Madison Brooks has claimed that what happened to her was “a tragedy” but “definitely not a crime”.

Ron Haley, an attorney for Kaivon Deondre Washington and the unidentified 17-year-old suspect, claims that video of Brooks shows she “was intoxicated” but not to point that she could not “lawfully give consent or answer questions” during sex with the suspects.

He claimed it proves she was in a “coherent state” and consented to the acts, before leaving the vehicle after an “argument”.

“Absolutely not a rape. Listen this is a tragedy, definitely not a crime,” Mr Haley told KSLA.

“Can you tell, that she was intoxicated, yes. To the point under the law that you say you’re in a drunken stupor, to the point that you cannot lawfully give consent or answer questions, absolutely that was not the case.”

Mr Haley also said that Brooks allegedly told the suspects that she was going to order an Uber after an argument unfolded.

“Based on a disagreement, she got out of the vehicle. She indicated she was getting an Uber,” Mr Haley alleged. “I want the public to know, these young men or really the driver of the vehicle and the young men that were in there, did not put her off on the side of the road.”

Rachel Sharp25 January 2023 12:30

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Liquor licence suspended at bar where victim spent last night

The liquor licence has been suspended at the bar where Madison Brooks spent her last night.

The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control announced on Tuesday that it was issuing an emergency suspension for Reggie’s bar in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The agency cited “the seriousness of the allegations and the potential threat to public safety”.

“This action immediately suspends the service or sale of alcoholic beverages at these locations,” the statement said.

“An emergency hearing will be held next month to determine what penalties (if any) should be imposed following a presentation of the evidence.”

Brooks spent the night of 14 January at Reggie’s Bar and allegedly met her attackers there.

Footage of her at the bar shows her falling over several times, according to an arrest warrant.

Investigators said Brooks was then sexually assaulted in a car before they dropped her off along a road in a neighbourhood near Pelican Lakes Parkway in the early hours of 15 January. A driver then hit the 19-year-old and she died hours later in hospital.

At 19, Brooks is under the legal drinking age of 21.

Three of the males charged over her alleged rape are also underage.

Rachel Sharp25 January 2023 12:00

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Judge says video intended to clear suspects in LSU student rape actually shows crime occurred

A video that four men hoped would exonerate them of the rape of a Louisiana State University (LSU) student has instead proven that a crime did occur, according to a judge – hours after an attorney for two of the suspects claimed the footage proves the late 19-year-old consented.

The three adult suspects appeared in court on Tuesday where their bond was set and prosecutors vowed to upgrade charges against them.

At the bond hearing, 19th Judicial District Judge Brad Myers said that he had watched a video filmed by one of the four suspects inside the car with Brooks.

The judge said that the video shows the suspects “callously” laughing at the drunk 19-year-old woman as she slurred her words, reported local outlet WAFB.

He also reviewed footage taken from Reggie’s Bar which showed Brooks falling over and struggling to stand in front of at least one of the suspects before they left the bar together. Her blood alcohol level was four times the legal limit at the time of her death and her autopsy shows injuries from a sexual assault, according to an arrest warrant.

The judge concluded that – based on the two videos and statements made by Mr Carver to investigators – he said it was clear that a crime had occurred that fateful night.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:

Rachel Sharp25 January 2023 11:25

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Bond set for three of four suspects

Three of the four males charged with the rape of Madison Brooks appeared in court on Tuesday where their bonds were set.

Kaivon Deondre Washington, 18, and a 17-year-old male who has not been named due to his age have been charged with third-degree rape. Mr Washington’s uncle Everette Lee, 28, and Casen Carver, 18, are charged with principal to rape.

Mr Washington had his bond set by 19th Judicial District Judge Brad Myers at $150,000.

Mr Lee was given a $75,000 bond and Mr Carver was given a $50,000 bond.

If they post bond, they are ordered not to make social media posts about the case or make contact with Brooks’ family, to submit for random drug testing and be placed on house arrest and wear an ankle monitor.

The 17-year-old’s bond hearing has been postponed to February.

Rachel Sharp25 January 2023 11:00

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