NEW ORLEANS-- Alabama Fan Brian Downing's overnight stay in jail is over. The 32-year-old posted bail just before noon on Friday, after an Orleans Magistrate Judge set a $10,000 bond that morning. It is a typical amount for a bond set in a sexual battery case, according to Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino.
'This defendant doesn't appear to be a flight risk,' Ciolino said. 'He turned himself in, voluntarily appeared in New Orleans and met with NOPD, not a surprise that the bond was set at that amount.'
Downing, who is a native of Smiths Station, Alabama, was booked Thursday night on one count of sexual battery and one count of obscenity. It comes after an amateur video surfaced, allegedly showing Downing committing a sexual act on an LSU fan, who appeared to be passed out at Bourbon Street eatery after the BCS Championship Game.
'Sexual battery is a fairly serious crime. It carries a maximum statutory penalty of ten years in prison,' Ciolino said. 'But whether he'll ultimately be charged with that, or be found guilty of that, of course, it is too early to speculate.'
The Orleans District Attorney's Office said they are awaiting the completion of the NOPD's report.
'As we do in every case, we will evaluate the police report that is submitted to us by the NOPD,' said Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman. 'When that is completed we will make a screening decision. While this matter has received a great deal of media attention, this case will be treated no differently than others.'
However, the evidence, in the form of the video recording, does set the case apart, according to Ciolino.
'The videotape is not only strong, it's almost conclusive evidence. All of the elements of the crime of sexual battery are apparent on the videotape,' Ciolino said. 'Unfortunately, for this defendant, this is no ordinary sexual battery. This one of course, had gotten not only local and regional, but national attention-- and everybody is going to be watching when Mr. Cannizzaro makes his decision, on how to handle the case.'
Downing's attorney, Michael Kennedy, would not comment on the case Friday. As for the police investigation, once it is completed, the DA's office will then have to decide whether or not to file a bill of information charging Downing. His next court date is set for March 20.