'Horrific' - LSU student raped before fatally struck by car, EBRSO says
Published Date: 1/24/2023
Source: WWLTV
Four individuals are facing rape charges after a Louisiana State University sorority student was struck by an oncoming vehicle while standing in the middle of a Baton Rouge street earlier this month. The crash happened on Burbank Drive at Pelican Lakes Parkway around 3 a.m. on Jan. 15, and claimed the life of LSU sophomore and Alpha Phi member Madison Brooks, 19, of Covington, La. On Monday, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office announced that four people had been arrested and are facing charges including raping Brooks prior to her death. Investigators say Brooks' blood-alcohol level was .319% at the time of the crash, which is nearly four times the legal driving limit for an adult, according to arrest documents. The accused include an unnamed 17-year-old who was booked on a third-degree rape charge into the East Baton Rouge Parish juvenile detention center on Sunday. Kaivon Washington, 18, was arrested and booked on the same charge on Monday. Authorities say two other individuals who were in the car with Brooks shortly before her death were also arrested. Casen Carver, 18, and Everett Lee, 27, were booked on charges of principle to third-degree rape. WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge reports that Washington reportedly told authorities before he surrendered that he, Brooks, and the other suspects had left the Tigerland bar Reggie's and had been drinking heavily. Washington reportedly claimed he and the other teen had sex with Brooks in the vehicle's backseat, and that Carver and Lee were in the front seat. The sheriff's office said that Brooks' blood-alcohol level at the time would not allow her to consent to sexual acts. The lawyers for the accused said they have a video that shows that Brooks was not "in a drunken stupor" and knew what she was doing before the sex acts occurred. Louisiana law decrees that third-degree rape occurs “when the victim is incapable of resisting or of understanding the nature of the act because 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.” Washington told investigators that the sex was consensual and that when Brooks asked to go home, she gave them multiple addresses and asked to be dropped off near the Pelican Lakes subdivision off of Burbank Drive. Shortly after her encounter with the accused, Brooks was struck and killed by a car as she was in the middle of a street. Court documents show that Brooks was at Reggie’s Bar in Tigerland when she met up with the four guys. Surveillance video shows her getting into the car with them and at that point two of the suspects said they engaged in consensual sex. Ronald Haley, a lawyer for two of the suspects, says Washington and Everett Lee are innocent based on a video that one of the four uploaded to the cloud. He said “based on her body language, based on her words, based on what she was saying, I can sit here firmly on even ground and say that a rape did not occur that evening.” But, according to arrest records, one of Haley’s clients told police that “she was drunk.” Surveillance video also allegedly shows Brooks stumbling and falling more than once. The arrests have sparked discussions about alcohol being served to underage teens and prompted a strong statement from LSU President William F. Tate IV, who sent a statement commenting on Brooks' death and the investigation. "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," the statement said. "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. "Our collective grief and outrage cannot be put into mere words. So what can we do? Our place to target our attention is the very place where this encounter began. "All but one of the suspects involved in this horrific scenario were underage yet were able to consume alcohol at a local bar. As such, our action plan starts with a deep and relentless focus on any establishment that profits off our students by providing alcohol to underage individuals. 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. Enough is enough."