Four young men have been arrested after a Louisiana State University student was allegedly raped in a car and then left on foot in a housing subdivision, where she was later fatally hit by a car just before 3 a.m. on Jan. 15.
— WAFB (@WAFB) January 23, 2023
Those two, 18-year-old Kaivon Washington and a 17-year-old who was not named because he is a minor, were arrested on charges of third-degree rape, the news outlet reported.
The other two told police they sat in the front seat of the car during the alleged sexual attack on Brooks. They were identified as Casen Carver, 18, and Everette Lee, 28, who were reportedly arrested on related charges of principal to third-degree rape.
Louisiana state law defines third-degree rape as occurring when the victim is “incapable of resisting or of understanding the nature of the act” due to an “intoxicating agent.” The offense carries a penalty of up to 25 years imprisonment.
“Surveillance footage and interviews with the suspects showed that she was obviously intoxicated when she left” the bar, according to The Advocate.
The 17-year-old turned himself in to police Sunday and the other three turned themselves in on Monday, according to the report.
Ron Haley, an attorney representing two of the suspects, said his clients have been unfairly charged, according to WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge.
Haley called the activity that occurred with Brooks “consensual sexual acts.”
“Absolutely not a rape,” he told the news outlet. “This is a tragedy, [but] definitely not a crime.”
Haley said there was video taken during the encounter that proves his case.
“Can you tell that she was intoxicated? Yes,” Haley said. “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.”
According to The Advocate, police said Brooks blood alcohol content was .319, “nearly four times the legal limit to drive and enough to give someone alcohol poisoning and render them unconscious.”
The Advocate also reported that when Carver was asked by detectives if he thought Brooks was too drunk to consent, he responded, “I guess.”
— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) January 24, 2023
Haley also said his clients did not force Brooks out of the car.
“Based on a disagreement, she got out of the vehicle,” Haley told WAFB. “She indicated she was getting an Uber.
“I want the public to know that 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,” said Haley.
Brooks was standing in the middle of a road when she was hit by a car at about 3 a.m., WAFB reported.
“Haley believes the video will acquit his clients fully, and the real blame needs to be on the bars selling to underage drinkers,” WAFB reported.
LSU President William Tate IV called for action on underage drinking, according to The Advocate.
“Tate said it was time for ‘our collective grief and outrage’ [over Brooks’ death] to lead to action on underage drinking by the university and the Baton Rouge business community,” the outlet reported, adding that the campus community “has faced enormous scrutiny over alcohol-related deaths and sexual assault and harassment.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.