Madison Brooks death: Second suspect in alleged rape of LSU student indicted
Casen Carver’s lawyer said the first- and third-degree rape charges were unwarranted
Attorney for family of slain LSU student Madison Brooks sets ‘the record straight’
Kerry Miller, the lawyer representing Madison Brooks’ family in the wake of her untimely death, sets “the record straight” in interview with Fox News Digital.
A grand jury indicted the second of four suspects connected to the alleged rape of LSU sophomore Madison Brooks, who was fatally struck by a car.
Casen Carver, 18, was charged with third- and first-degree rape, which is Louisiana’s most severe sexual assault charge and is punishable by life in prison without parole.
He was booked earlier on a lesser charge of principal to third-degree rape for allegedly sitting in the front of the car while the 19-year-old was allegedly raped in the backseat.
Carver’s lawyer, Joe Long, told WWLTV that the charges were unwarranted after Desmond Carter’s indictment on first- and third-degree rape in February. Carter, a 17-year-old who is being tried as an adult, is alleged to have had sex with Brooks, while Carver is not.
An updated photo of LSU student Madison Brooks, who was fatally hit by a car after an alleged rape. (The Brooks family)
“We expected this indictment based on what happened to Mr. Carter despite the fact that my client didn’t have sex with Madison Brooks,” Long said, referring to Carter’s February indictment on the same charges.
Carver “declined sex when offered and was called gay when he wouldn’t have sex with her. The DA has seen it fit to pursue charges that could put him in prison for the rest of his life. Facts don’t matter when the mob wants their pound of flesh,” Long said.
The other two suspects, Everett Lee, 28, and Kaivon Washington, 18, are waiting to be indicted. Currently, Lee is charged with principal to third-degree rape, and Washington was charged with third-degree rape.
Brooks met her alleged attackers while drinking at Reggie’s bar near LSU. She was allegedly raped in the suspects’ car and let out on the side of a busy highway in Baton Rouge near her student housing, where she was fatally struck by a car in the early morning hours of a rainy night, Jan. 15.
Casen Carver booking photo (East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office)
Police cleared the driver, who immediately called 911, and a separate Good Samaritan who pulled over and tried to save Brooks.
The East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office appears to be taking an aggressive approach to this case by pursuing and securing first-degree rape charges against two of the suspects.
According to Louisiana state law, third-degree rape involves sexual intercourse that “is deemed to be without the lawful consent of a victim,” which suggests Brooks was too intoxicated to consent.
Her blood alcohol content was .319 percent, which is almost four times the legal level to drive, according to authorities.
Pictured, from left to right: Kaivon Washington, Everett Lee, Casen Carver and Madison Brooks. (East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office/Instagram)
WATCH MADISON BROOKS’ FUNERAL:
First-degree rape in Louisiana occurs when two or more offenders take part in the crime, and typically involve some element of force or threats, according to state law.
Meanwhile, attorneys representing the suspects, including lawyer Ron Haley, have maintained their clients’ innocence and said during a previous press conference that the sex had been consensual, and Haley reiterated his past arguments that a short video of Brooks leaving Reggie’s bar reflects the suspects’ innocence.
“The two defendants who engaged in consensual sexual acts with Ms. Brooks did so after obtaining verbal consent,” Haley said, according to WVUE-TV. “Ms. Brooks left the car on her own volition, saying she would get an Uber. She is seen on video leaving the car, unharmed and in good health. This will be confirmed by video at a later date.”
An updated photo of LSU student Madison Brooks, who was fatally hit by a car after an alleged rape earlier this month. (The Brooks family)
To date, cellphone videos from that night or of what happened in the car haven’t been released in their entirety.
Joe Long, who represents another one of the suspects, went further, telling reporters, “If Ms. Brooks was alive, this would not be a crime.”
“She would not have complained about it at all,” Long said during a press conference. “The only reason it’s there is because the understandable anger in the community wants someone to pay for her death. And we understand that, but our clients did not do that.”
Kerry Miller, Brooks’ mother’s lawyer, said he was “blown away” by those claims.
“She was raped. Rape is rape,” Miller told Fox News Digital in a previous interview. “It’s just a horrific, terrible situation. And to the extent that those involved with the alleged rapist want to blame the victim and show up at press conferences and say things … we’re standing up for Maddie. That’s not right.”
Brooks’ death cast a spotlight on LSU’s history of mishandling sexual assaults and rapes as well as increased crime in the college town’s social hotspot, Tigerland, and the city of Baton Rouge. In the wake of the incident, LSU administrators and the school’s president have been accused of victim-blaming after they said they were going after underage drinking in Tigerland rather than sexual assault.
Last week, Reggie’s bar was shut down, and the owner was banned from operating bars in the state, as part of a consent agreement in response to Brooks’ death.
Chris Eberhart is a crime and US news journalist for Fox News Digital. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @ChrisEberhart48