NEW ORLEANS -State senator Troy Brown was a no show for his first court appearance after he was arrested over the weekend for allegedly punching a woman in the face.
Instead, his attorney Senator Ed Murray entered a not guilty plea on his behalf, and waived his appearance.
Police arrested state Senator Troy Brown early Sunday on domestic abuse charges after a reported fight at an after-party for the Bayou Classic football game in New Orleans.
Brown told WWL-TV he got into a fight with two or three people at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. New Orleans Police said Brown was with 40-year-old Katasha Willis and a friend of hers when Brown and the friend got into an argument outside a hotel elevator. Police said Willis intervened and Brown punched her in the eye.
"Whatever happened, should not have happened," Murray said. "He does not recall what happened, but is remorseful for things that transpired."
According to NOPD's arrest affidavit, Willis was a "side friend" of Brown's who had been romantically involved with the married senator for the past ten years. Police said Willis told them she and Brown had argued in the past but this was the first time he'd hit her.
Brown said he doesn't remember everything about what happened because he suffers from bouts of short-term memory loss due to brain damage he suffered in a 1991 car crash. He said he plans to consult with a doctor to see if he has a more serious condition, due to this and "other recent memory episodes." Brown also said he was drinking that night.
"I apologize to my family and my constituents, and I commit to getting the help I need to resolve the medical issues which I believe contributed to this incident," Brown said. "From the first moment authorities were called I have cooperated fully with them and will continue to do so."
In 2014 the Investigative Unit reported Brown pulled a woman over for cutting him off in traffic, then showed her his Senate badge and threatened her with arrest. Brown later apologized for his behavior, and an East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office spokesperson said Brown didn't break any laws.
Brown is a Democrat who represents the River Parishes in District 12, including parts of Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Lafourche, St Charles, St John the Baptist, St. James and West Baton Rouge parishes.
The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office showed Brown was released on a $3,000 bond. WWL-TV says Brown should be in court over the incident Monday afternoon.
Brown is due back in court in 30 days. A spokeswoman he hired on his behalf said Brown went to a neurologist today, and the doctor ordered further tests.