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INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Leaked evidence shows Madison Brooks family pressed for sexual assault probe

10 months 1 day 11 hours ago Friday, July 28 2023 Jul 28, 2023 July 28, 2023 4:40 PM July 28, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — More leaked evidence is painting a clearer picture of how the Madison Brooks case morphed from a probe of a pedestrian death into a full blown rape investigation.

Leaked documents show that, in the hours after Brooks' death, a state trooper who was an acquaintance of the family reached out to a supervisor at the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office saying he had additional information regarding the traffic investigation.

An EBRSO incident report, part of the evidence in the case reads, "Lieutenant Mike Nicolini informed me that he is acquaintances with Madison Brooks' family as their children are friends. The family informed Nicolini that they received videos via social media platforms of Madison on the night she was struck by a vehicle... Lieutenant Nicolini also informed me that Madison's family nor did her friends know any of the unknown males that she left with and that they expressed their concern of the possibility of her being sexually assaulted after leaving Reggie's Bar in the period prior to the crash."

When detectives arrived at Reggie's bar the day after Brooks was killed, the owner of Reggie's, Darrin Adams, informed detectives that "he had previously spoken to Madison's family and he had allowed them to view the video prior to law enforcement arriving... At 0149 hours, the video shows Madison leaving Reggies' bar with one white male and three black males."

The reports indicate that following the family seeing those videos and social media videos they wanted law enforcement to look into the possibility of her being sexually assaulted.

This week, additional leaked evidence obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit revealed laboratory reports and autopsy results that show that DNA from none of the four men arrested after the death of Madison Brooks was found inside the LSU student, and her blood alcohol content was 12 percent lower than what had initially been reported.

"The state bears the burden of proving the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt," defense lawyer and DNA expert Jarrett Ambeau said.

Ambeau reviewed the DNA report that the WBRZ Investigative Unit obtained exclusively. That report showed only Kaivon Washington's DNA was found on the exterior of Brooks' genitals. The report noted there was no sign of vaginal trauma. The autopsy did not say whether the DNA was found in semen, bodily fluids or dead skin cells.

"This is incredibly sophisticated ... incredibly sensitive forensic science evidence," Ambeau said. "What's clear here I think from the DNA, you can make the assertion there was zero penetration. The family should be comforted, that was not what occurred to her that night. This young lady lost her life, and we all are devastated by that. I have children. I want the family to understand this does indicate more than likely there was no rape that evening."

Surveillance video shows Brooks chasing down the four men after a night of partying at Reggie's and leaving Tigerland in their car. The driver told detectives that two of his passengers had sex with the woman in the back seat, and one of the men, Kaivon Washington, told the Investigative Unit while on his way to jail that he had sex with the woman.

Washington has told detectives he did not have sex with her.

When the driver Casen Carver was questioned, reports noted that "he felt very uncomfortable during the incident while they were parked on Jennifer Jean Drive."

District Attorney Hillar Moore III, who has said he will take steps to ensure additional evidence won't be leaked to the media, said WBRZ doesn't have a complete picture and that he is confident he can still win convictions.

Ambeau said that, so far, that prosecutors may have a difficult time with the evidence revealed so far.

"Since there's nothing internal, nothing, no male DNA, not just not a full profile or a partial profile but no male DNA present, it begs the question if anyone was there," lawyer Jarrett Ambeau said. "The absence of evidence doesn't mean evidence of absence, but in a rape allegation there has to be some evidence of penetration and that's not present in this case."

Ambeau said that even if the men were wearing condoms, DNA would have been left behind somewhere.

"Any time you enter into an intimate act, you will leave skin cells," he said. "There's much more contact rather than just the requisite parts, because there's contact by the body in all ways.

"You would expect to find DNA in all places and it's just not there," he said. "With this DNA evidence, the DA is in a tough spot proving this case."

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