Four arrested after LSU college sophomore fatally hit by car after alleged rape

[sharenow]

Four men have been arrested in connection with the death of a 19-year-old LSU student as authorities allege the victim was raped before being left on the side of the road where she was struck and killed by a vehicle.

(Video: WAFB)

Around 3 a.m. on January 15, Madison Brooks was hit by a ride-share vehicle and later died in a nearby hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The sophomore at Louisiana State University (LSU) had been seen leaving Reggie’s Bar in Tigerland before the tragedy, and Monday night the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of the four men she was with.

Kaivon Washington, 18, and an unnamed 17-year-old have been charged with third-degree rape after they were said to have had sex with Brooks in the back of a car when she was in need of a ride home. Casen Carver, 18, and Everett Lee, 28, have been charged with principal to third-degree rape for being present in the vehicle but not participating in the act, Fox News reported.

As outlined by WAFB, Louisiana Law describes third-degree rape as involving a victim who is “incapable of resisting or of understanding the nature of the act by reason of a stupor or abnormal condition of mind produced by an intoxicating agent or any cause and the offender knew or should have known of the victim’s incapacity.”

Arrest records indicated Brooks’ blood alcohol level was nearly four times the legal limit, at .319 percent, when she had been brought to the hospital. Furthermore, Carver, the driver of the vehicle, was said to have told investigators that he thought the young woman was too drunk to know what she was consenting to when the 17-year-old and Washington had asked her for sex in the backseat.

Attorney Ron Haley, who is representing two of the suspects, told the outlet, “She willfully got into the car, said that her rides had left her, and she got in. Absolutely not a rape. Listen, this is a tragedy, definitely not a crime.”

“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,” he argued.

As far as being left on the side of the road where she was then fatally struck by another vehicle, the attorney said, “Based on a disagreement, she got out of the vehicle. She indicated she was getting an Uber. 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.”

He further contended that video evidence from inside the vehicle will prove his clients are innocent of wrongdoing and that the real blame should rest on the bar for selling alcohol to underage patrons.

Meanwhile, LSU president William F. Tate IV released a statement that appeared to find the men guilty until proven innocent as he described the tragedy as “evil.”

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

The Alpha Phi sorority she belonged to also released a statement in memoriam, “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. 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. We respectfully ask for time and space so we may support each other in our healing process.”

 

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Kevin Haggerty

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