BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A teenager has been charged as an adult in the case of Madison Brooks, a Louisiana State University student who was allegedly raped then left on the side of a road where she was struck and killed by a car.
A grand jury indicted Desmond Carter, 17, Wednesday on charges of first-degree rape and third-degree rape. The Associated Press does not normally name juveniles accused of a crime but is identifying Carter because he has been formally charged as an adult.
First-degree rape is the gravest sexual assault charge available to prosecutors under Louisiana law. If found guilty, the charge carries a punishment of life in prison without parole. In addition, the grand jury also weighed whether to charge Carter with second-degree kidnapping but chose not to indict him.
The Associated Press reached out Thursday to the East Baton Rouge public defender’s office, which is representing Carter but did not receive an immediate response.
The charges stem from Jan. 15, when Brooks, a 19-year-old LSU student, met Carter at a bar in the Tigerland entertainment district in Baton Rouge. Police say Brooks asked Carter for a ride home and left with him and three other men.
Deputies allege that while in the car, the group stopped on the side of the road, where Carter and Kaivon Washington, 18, raped Brooks in the back of the vehicle. During the assault, Everett Lee, 28, and Casen Carver, 18, remained in the car, police say.
Soon after, the group dropped Brooks off near a sub-division and drove away. Less than an hour later, around 3 a.m., Brooks — who was standing on the dark street — was struck by a ride-share vehicle. She died at a hospital. The driver — who police say was not impaired, contacted emergency personnel and remained at the crash scene — was not charged.
The Associated Press does not normally name rape victims, but the attorney representing Brooks’ family, Kerry Miller, has publicly identified her.
In addition to Carter’s charges, Washington was charged with third-degree rape. Under Louisiana law, the charge generally 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.”
Lee and Carver were both charged with principle to third-degree rape, meaning they were present but did not take part in the alleged crime.
Similar to Carter, the three defendants could face heightened charges, but that will be left up to the grand jury, District Attorney Hillar Moore told The Advocate.