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Sorority Honors LSU Student Who Was Struck By Car After Alleged Rape As ‘Hero’ Who ‘Made A Lasting Impact'
“We are grieving the sudden and tragic loss of our sister, Madison Brooks, following the accident that took her life,” the Alpha Phi sorority said of 19-year-old Brooks, who was struck and killed Jan. 16 after being dropped off by her alleged rapists.
Louisiana State University student Madison Brooks is being remembered by her sorority as a “hero” who “made a lasting impact” on those around her.
“We are grieving the sudden and tragic loss of our sister, Madison Brooks, following the accident that took her life,” Alpha Phi wrote in an online tribute to the 19-year-old. “Madison was a sophomore and made a lasting impact on all of us.”
Brooks was struck and killed Jan. 16 by a ride-share driver as she stood in a darkened street after being dropped off in the area by a group of men, two of whom are charged with raping her, according to Shreveport affiliate KSLA.
“She was also a hero and was able to donate her heart and kidneys to save others,” the sorority continued. “We send our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.”
The sophomore had been drinking at Reggie’s bar in Tigerland the night of Jan. 15 when she met Kaivon Washington, 18, Washington’s uncle Everett Lee, 28, Casen Carver, 18, and an unnamed 17-year-old, according to an affidavit previously obtained by Oxygen.com.
Brooks was seen in surveillance footage “hugging and dancing” with the 17-year-old and appeared to be visibly drunk, at times falling over and slurring her words.
Her blood alcohol concentration was determined at a local hospital to be .319, nearly four times the legal limit to drive and within the range of possible alcohol poisoning.
The group were seen leaving the bar together.
“[Carver] stated the victim asked for a ride home and he admitted that he agreed to give her a ride because he did not want to leave her while very intoxicated and the bar was closing,” according to the affidavit. “[Carver] stated he asked the victim about her friends, but she was ‘drunk’ and did not know where her friends were.”
While Carver and Lee rode in the front seat, Washington, the 17-year-old minor and Brooks rode in the backseat. The unnamed teen allegedly asked Brooks “five times if she wanted to have sex with him” and the pair began to have sex in the backseat, although authorities say Brooks had been too intoxicated to consent.
Washington waited outside the vehicle, but when he returned, he allegedly had sex with Brooks too.
Carver told authorities he “hated” what was happening and he tried to find the victim’s home, but she was too intoxicated to provide an address, according to the affidavit.
The group dropped her off near a subdivision, where she was struck and killed by a car just before 2:50 a.m.
The driver who hit Brooks called for help and waited at the scene, The Advocate reports. Brooks died from her injuries at a local hospital.
Washington and the 17-year-old suspect have been charged with third-degree rape while Lee and Carver are facing charges of being principles to the rape.
Attorney Ron Haley, who represents two of the suspects, disputed the charges and insisted to WAFB that the sex had been consensual and was “absolutely not a rape.”
“Listen this is a tragedy, definitely not a crime,” Haley said.
Haley said a video taken during the incident also confirms that Brooks was coherent and able to consent.
“Can you tell, that she was intoxicated, yes. To the point under the law that you say you’re in a drunken stupor, to the point that you cannot lawfully give consent or answer questions, absolutely that was not the case,” he said.
Reggie’s, a popular bar, was shut down Tuesday after the Louisiana Officer of Alcohol and Tobacco Control issued an emergency suspension citing the “seriousness of the allegations” and a “potential threat to public safety," according to The Advocate.
A hearing will be held next month for the bar owners to determine whether it will be allowed to reopen.
The LSU community is now grappling to come to terms with Brooks’ sudden loss.
“Madison was a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a niece, a classmate, and a friend to many of you,” LSU President William F. Tate IV said in a statement obtained by WDSU. “By all accounts, she was an amazing young woman with limitless potential. 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.”