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Attorneys doubt accuracy of LSU student's BAC after alleged rape, crash

"As the facts of this case continue to come forth, we believe that intent and consent will be very clear," attorneys for the accused said Friday.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Attorneys for three of the four men facing rape charges after an LSU student was fatally struck by a car say security and cell phone video from the night of the crash will prove that their clients are innocent.

In a joint news conference on Friday, attorneys representing Kaivon Washington, 18, Casen Carver, 18, and Everette Lee, 27, said they did not intend to try the case in the media, but wanted to correct the record against their clients.

The three men, along with an unnamed 17-year-old, are facing rape charges after 19-year-old Madison Brooks of Covington, La., was struck by an oncoming car while standing in the middle of Burbank Drive on Jan. 15.

Attorney Ron Haley said that video from inside Reggie's Bar shows 19-year-old Madison Brooks dancing and talking with the 17-year-old before asking the four men for a ride. Video obtained by WBRZ-TV shows a blond-haired woman, reportedly Brooks, darting in front of a car on Bob Pettit Boulevard outside of the bar and linking up with the men.

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office said Washington claimed that he and the 17-year-old had sex with Brooks in the backseat of the car. Lee and Carver were in the front seat. Investigators say Brooks then asked to be dropped off in the Pelicans Lakes neighborhood near Burbank Drive. Shortly after her encounter with the four men, Brooks was fatally struck by a car while standing in the middle of Burbank Drive.

The EBRSO said that Brook's had a blood-alcohol level of .319% - four times the legal driving limit for an adult - at the time of the crash that would not allow her to consent to sexual acts. 

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.”

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.

"The evidence that we've seen so far on the video of Ms. Brooks running across the street in front of Reggie's, undermines the police version of events," Attorney Joe Long said. "And until our experts can look at what happened, we believe that the BAC that they're saying is inaccurate."

In a statement to WBRZ on Thursday, Reggie's Bar said that Brooks entered the bar with false identification. 

"She wasn't served nor did she consume any drinks at least during the last hour she was at Reggie's," the statement read.

Haley said that Washington and the 17-year-old only engaged in sexual acts with Brooks after getting her verbal consent. He added that a video taken inside the car showed a conversation between Brooks and the men and did not record any of the sexual acts.

"The way this is being reported and taken out of context from the police report is factually inaccurate," Haley said.

Credit: East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office
Casen John Carver, Kaivon Washington, and Everett Lee (left to right)

Haley said that Brooks asked to get out of the car, telling the men that she would get an Uber ride.

"She is seen on video leaving the car unharmed and in good health. This will be confirmed by video at a later date," Haley said. He said that the defense will not release the videos at this time, and are working with the district attorney "and will allow the judicial process to take place."

"As the facts of this case continue to come forth, we believe that intent and consent will be very clear," he added.

"We believe that if Ms. Brooks was alive, this would not be a crime. She would have not complained about it at all," Long said. "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."

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