An intoxicated 19-year-old Louisiana State University student was raped in the back of a car before she was struck and killed by a vehicle in a Baton Rouge neighborhood in the early hours of Jan. 16, authorities say. Three adult males and a juvenile have been charged in connection with the alleged rape of Madison Brooks, CNN reports. Kaivon Washington, 18, and a 17-year-old male have been charged with third-degree rape, while 18-year-old Casen Carver, and Everett Lee, Washington's 28-year-old uncle, are accused of being principals to third-degree rape, meaning they were present but did not participate in the alleged crime, reports the Washington Post.
Under Louisiana law, the charge of third-degree rape usually involves 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," the AP reports. According to an affidavit, Carver told investigators that Brooks was "very unstable on her feet, was not able to keep her balance," and kept slurring her words after she left Reggie’s Bar, where she had been dancing with the 17-year-old. Police said she asked the four suspects for a ride home because she was drunk and couldn't find her friends. She was hit by a ride-share vehicle around 50 minutes after she left the suspects' vehicle.
Carver said Brooks gave "verbal consent," but when asked if she was too drunk to consent, he said, "I guess," police said. According to an autopsy report, Brooks' blood-alcohol level was nearly four times the legal limit for driving and she had "injuries consistent with previous sexual assault," the Post reports. A lawyer for Washington and Lee tells WAFB that Brooks' death was a "tragedy, definitely not a crime" and a video taken during the incident shows that she was not in a "drunken stupor" and the sex was consensual. Ron Haley said she got out of the vehicle after arguing with the driver. "Based on a disagreement, she got out of the vehicle. She indicated she was getting an Uber," Haley said. "I want the public to know, these young men ... did not put her off on the side of the road."
"By all accounts, she was an amazing young woman with limitless potential. She should not have been taken from us in this way," LSU President William F. Tate IV said in a statement. "What happened to her was evil, and our legal system will parcel out justice." Tate said the university will meet with owners of bars and "any establishment that profits off our students by providing alcohol to underage individuals" to discuss improving safety. State authorities say the sale of alcohol at Reggie's Bar has been suspended. (Read more LSU stories.)