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 Alabama fan pleads guilty in BCS sex video case
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1 year ago

Alabama fan pleads guilty in BCS sex video case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A University of Alabama fan has pleaded guilty to two counts of obscenity for sexually taunting an unconscious LSU fan in New Orleans after this year's BCS national title game.

Prosecutors said a deal reached Tuesday before the scheduled trial for Brian H. Downing of Smith Station, Ala., calls for him to be sentenced to two years in jail.

State District Judge Karen Herman set sentencing for Nov. 29.

A video that went viral on the Internet appeared to show someone in a University of Alabama jacket performing a simulated sex act on an unconscious man at a Bourbon Street restaurant after the Crimson Tide beat LSU for the BCS football championship on Jan. 9.

Downing had pleaded not guilty in May to charges of sexual battery and obscenity.

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1 year ago

LSU fan in post-BCS video sues Alabama man

The Alabama man accused of committing sexual battery on an unconscious LSU fan after the BCS championship football game is being sued. The LSU fan filed a lawsuit Friday against Brian Downing of Smiths Station, Ala. Downing's lawyer declined comment Friday night, saying he hadn't had a chance to read the lawsuit because neither he nor his client had been served. Downing, 32, was booked on charges of sexual battery and obscenity but the New Orleans district attorney has until June 20 to decide whether to prosecute. A video that went viral on the Internet is believed to have been taken at a fast-food restaurant after Alabama defeated LSU on Jan. 9. A man clad in Crimson Tide attire appears to perform a simulated sex act on the LSU fan. The lawsuit does not specify a dollar figure for damages. It says the LSU fan suffered "mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety and depression ... damage to reputation" and lost tuition payments "for having to withdraw from school."

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2 years ago

Lawyers denounce prosecution from post-BCS video

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Lawyers for an Alabama man accused of committing sexual battery on an unconscious LSU fan after the BCS championship football game say it's mind-boggling that police and prosecutors would give substantial energy and attention to the matter.

New Orleans attorneys Miles Swanson and Michael Kennedy said in a statement Thursday that charging 32-year-old Brian Downing with sexual battery "demeans the real and serious trauma of actual victims of sexual violence."

In a video that went viral on the Internet, Downing was shown exposing himself and simulating a sex act on an apparently unconscious man in an LSU-purple T-shirt after Alabama defeated the Tigers on Jan. 9.

Downing surrendered to New Orleans police and was booked with sexual battery and obscenity.

He is free on $10,000 bond.

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2 years ago

Alabama man in post-BCS video bonds out of jail

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An Alabama man accused of committing sexual battery on an unconscious LSU fan after the BCS championship football game that was caught on video that went viral is out of jail.

Court officials say 32-year-old Brian Downing of Smiths Station posted a $10,000 bond Friday afternoon and was released.

Downing surrendered to New Orleans police on Thursday night. He was booked on charges of sexual battery and obscenity.

The video is believed to have been taken at a fast-food restaurant after Alabama defeated the LSU Tigers on Jan. 9. A man clad in Crimson Tide attire appears to be performing a simulated sex act on the LSU fan.

Downing's attorney declined to comment or have his client speak about what happened.

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2 years ago

Bond set for Alabama man in post-BCS video

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Bond has been set at $10,000 for an Alabama man accused of committing sexual battery on an unconscious LSU fan after the BCS championship football game in a video that went viral on the Internet.

Thirty-two-year-old Brian Downing of Smiths Station, Ala., surrendered to New Orleans police on Thursday night.

Police launched an investigation after a video circulated online showing a man in a red Alabama jacket simulating a sex act with the unidentified male LSU fan at a fast-food restaurant on Bourbon Street.

Downing appeared in Orleans Parish Magistrate Court on Friday morning.

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2 years ago

Police arrest Alabama man

Video courtesy of WVUE

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An Alabama man was arrested late Wednesday in connection with a video appearing to show someone in a University of Alabama jacket abusing an unconscious Louisiana State University fan after Alabama beat LSU for the BCS football championship.

Brian Downing, 32, of Smiths Station, Ala., was booked on charges of sexual battery and obscenity. He was videotaped Jan. 9 "placing his genitals on an LSU fan's face. The LSU fan appears to be heavily inebriated and practically unconscious," a police statement said.

That videotape, the last minute of which shows a man in a red Alabama jacket simulating a sex act, went viral on the Internet.

Police said sex crimes detectives met Downing at his attorney's office in New Orleans, where officers arrested him. Downing looked at the ground as officers escorted him in handcuffs into the jail. Neither he nor the officers answered questions.

Downing's actions were videotaped about 11:45 p.m. Jan. 9, at a restaurant on Bourbon Street, police said.
They said LSU and Alabama University campus police helped them collect information and evidence needed to get a warrant for Downing's arrest.

Downing is a second cousin of Russell County, Ala., Sheriff Heath Taylor, who earlier Thursday had said Downing was on his way from Alabama to New Orleans to surrender.

Taylor told The Associated Press that he learned from other family members Thursday morning that Downing had been identified as the man shown exposing himself and then simulating a sex act above the head of an apparently unconscious man in an LSU-purple shirt. Taylor said he had not seen the video or asked Downing about the case.

After hearing from his relatives, Taylor said, he called Downing's dad and told him to bring him to the sheriff's office in Phenix City, Ala. He said he then called New Orleans police to ask whether they wanted him to jail and extradite Downing or send him to New Orleans to surrender. "New Orleans made that call," he said.

Taylor said he did not speak to Downing. "I gave his attorney the card with the detective's name on it and cell number."

The relationship was first reported by the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Ga., which is about nine miles east-northeast from Phenix City.

Scott Myers, a spokesman for Birmingham, Ala.-based Hibbett Sports Inc., confirmed Thursday that the company fired Downing on Wednesday because of his part in the video.

He said the company had been aware of the tape but did not identify the person on it until Wednesday. He refused to say what the man did for Hibbett or how the company became aware of his alleged involvement. Hibbett Sports lists about 800 stores in 26 states.

"We were made aware of this situation late yesterday afternoon. We conducted our own investigation, and after the investigation was concluded, we made the determination to terminate his employment," Myers said.

Taylor said that when he heard the allegation, he had no choice but to arrest Downing or send him to New Orleans. "I wasn't going to let anybody say that because he's my family I wasn't doing anything about it." It wasn't a hard decision, he said. "You've just got to do the right thing."

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2 years ago

Alabama-LSU assault video: Person of interest to turn himself in

A Youtube video has both LSU and Alabama fans talking, and asking for justice.

New Orleans Police expect to have a man suspected of sexual assault in custody, identified by the suspect's cousin (and sheriff of Russell County, Alabama).

"I get a call from four or five of our family members telling me this is Brian Downing, our Brian Downing, our family," Sheriff Heath Taylor said. "That's my second cousin."

When Russell County's Sheriff Taylor saw the video, he couldn't believe his eyes; pegging the man seen exposing himself as his cousin, Brian Downing, and a man wanted by New Orleans Police.

Pictured above is Brian Downing (left) and the suspect (right) who appears to have sexually assaulted an unconscious LSU fan at a Bourbon Street restaurant.
Place the pictures side-by-side, it even appears Downing is wearing the same wrist watch.

"I immediately called his father and said bring him down to my office now, don't pass go don't collect $200," Sheriff Taylor said.

New Orleans Police hadn't issued a warrant for Downing's arrest but Sheriff Taylor, a 'Bama fan himself, said if they did his cousin would already be behind bars.

The incident obviously didn't amuse New Orleans Police or his employer, a Hibbett Sports store in Phenix City, Alabama.
Deadspin.com reports Downing was a manager at the store.

The company issued this statement Thursday morning:

"...we were made aware of the situation late yesterday afternoon. We investigated it and decided to terminate employment yesterday."

The incident wasn't a laughing matter for Sheriff Taylor either.

"What kind of class does that show?" Taylor asks, "that one of our fans would do that? ...And then I find out that it's my family. It's just hard to believe."

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2 years ago

Alabama Sheriff claims to know the man sexually assaulting LSU fan

This man, Brian Downing, is thought to be the Alabama fan sexually assaulting an unconscious LSU fan at a Bourbon Street restaurant. KATC's Shawn Kline spoke to an Alabama sheriff claiming this man is his cousin and has urged Downing to turn himself. More details tonight at 10:00.

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2 years ago

Update: Alabama Fan Suspected in Video Fired From Job

Brian Downing has been identified by the sheriff in Russell County as the person allegedly committing a sexual assault on a LSU fan following the BCS game in New Orleans. Downing was employed a Hibbett Sports in Alabama until yesterday, when the corporation found out Downing might be implicated in the video. Scott Myers, Vice President of Human Resources and Lost Prevention, says "we were made aware of the situation late yesterday afternoon. We investigated it and decided to terminate employment yesterday." Myers wouldn't say if Browning acknowledged the video, how long he worked there, or even what his position was in the company.

Sheriff Heath Taylor, of Russell County, says he told Downing to report to New Orleans to answer questions after being made aware of the video. Taylor also happens to be Downing's second-cousin. The sheriff has confirmed with KATC the picture attached to this story is that of Downing, and he's positive it's him in the video.

The video was shot at the Krystal Burger on Bourbon Street in New Orleans following the BCS Championship game on January 9, 2012. New Orleans Police asked for the public's help identifying the Alabama fan who pulled out his genitals and rubbed them on the face of the LSU fan, who appeared to be disoriented. No warrant has been issued for his arrest, however we're told Downing is en route to New Orleans to answer questions.

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2 years ago

Alabama Sheriff ID's Fan in Video As His Cousin

An Alabama sheriff has identified the Alabama fan wanted by New Orleans Police as his second-cousin. Sheriff Heath Taylor, of Russell County, says his family members started calling him today, asking if he realized that he was related to the fan shown in the video. The fan, he identifies as Brian Downing, an Alabama graduate. Taylor says he called Downing's father today, telling him to send his son immediately to the Sheriff's Department. They came, but Downing was not immediately jailed because New Orleans Police didn't issue a warrant for him. After speaking with New Orleans detectives, the sheriff says they asked if Downing would come to New Orleans to answer questions. He says police anticipated having a warrant later today or tomorrow.

The sheriff said he hadn't seen the video, only heard of it, and was appalled by the actions. After seeing the video, he says there is no doubt in his mind the person is his cousin, Brian Downing.

You'll recall the video surfaced on youtube earlier this week, depicting a LSU fan being apparently sexually assaulted by an Alabama fan. Just yesterday, New Orleans Police issued a plea to the public to come forward with any information on the identity of the fan.

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2 years ago

NOPD Asking For Help Finding Alabama Fan

After further review, the New Orleans Police Department is now asking the public for help in identifying the person of interest in the video of a LSU fan, apparently being sexualy assaulted.

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5'7 to 5'11(height), medium build, unshaven facial hair, wearing a University of Alabama jacket, white shirt.

If you have any information regarding this incident please notify Special Victims Unit Detective Corey M. Lymous at 504-658-5523 or anonymously to Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or toll free at 1-877-903-7867.

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2 years ago

Closer to identifying fans in alleged sexual assault

More details emerging today about the identity of those fans involved in the alleged sexual assault of a LSU fan on Bourbon Street following the BCS Championship game. The incident, which was all caught on tape, shows the Bama fan exposing his genitals and rubbing them on the LSU fans face.

Deadspin.com first reported the identity of two of the individuals shown in the majority of the video. They identified 22-year-old Patrick Setterstrom and his girlfriend yesterday morning, and also said Setterstrom is the son of Mobile, Alabama's WKRG sports director Randy Patrick Setterstrom.

KATC called WKRG yesterday to ask if the station was aware of their possible connection to the video, but we were redirected to the corporate office who said they would be reporting on the incident. Last night, WKRG did post a story on their website, acknowledging their Sports Anchor's son was in the video. Patrick Setterstrom is not the person accused of sexually assaulting the LSU fan.

In addition, a facebook page has been created to seek the identity of all involved. Mary George from Arkansas started the page "Wanted: Bama Sexual Miscreants on the loose!" George tells WVUE that the victim and his family have reached out to her. She says the victim does have an attorney and plans to go to police today. They also expect an arrest today.

The identity of the man responsible for the alleged sexual assault has still not been identified.

New Orleans police have already told us they aren't investigating any more if the victim stays quiet. Now we've learned the New Orleans district attorney won't press charges if police don't provide a suspect. The district attorney does have the option of pressing charges even if the victim doesn't come forward, but a spokesperson says they won't be investigating unless police bring them information.

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2 years ago

DA weighs in on alleged assault case

So far, no victim has come forward to file a complaint in the alleged sexual assault of an LSU fan by an Alabama fan following the BCS Championship game.

New Orleans police have already told us they aren't investigating any more if the victim stays quiet. Now we've learned the New Orleans district attorney won't press charges if police don't provide a suspect.

So no suspect, no victim and no one looking for them, but there are other legal scenarios that could play out.

Despite not having an ID from police, the D.A's office could choose to investigate on its own. I sat down with Lafayette Parish District Attorney Mike Harson to get some legal background on what could be done

Harson says it would be possible to prosecute a case like this without the victim coming forward, but there would be some challenges...however, he says the video evidence could make all the difference.

Harson says typically when a case is pursued without a victim present it can be a tough sell to a jury

"It makes the jury say well if he's no more interested in it then why should we be interested."

In this case, even if the victim did come forward, Harson says he'd basically be useless since he appeared to be unconscious and may not have been aware or remember the incident. That's where the video comes in.

"We have the video to back up because we can document exactly what happened regardless of what he says or what he recalls, so that helps the case a lot."

As for what charges could be filed, Harson says he sees three possibilities-sexual battery, obscenity, and even indecent behavior with a juvenile if it could be proven a child was present. And what about all the spectators?

"Most of the other people standing in the background, just were kinda watching and so forth, as lurid as that may be, there's probably not a whole lot we could do to them, again they're not under a legal obligation to step in and protect the individual, although morally they should have."

Harson says Krystal Burger, the restaurant where the incident happened, could probably not be held criminally responsible.

Representatives from Krystal Burger released this statement regarding the incident.

"We are appalled that this despicable incident would ever occur and this has never before happened in our restaurants. One of our employees notified our manager who took action and dispersed the crowd."

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2 years ago

LSU & Alabama Fans Outraged at Apparent Assault

Fans from both LSU & Alabama are disgusted at a video that's surfaced online, showing the apparent sexual assault of an LSU fan by an Alabama fan. The video was shot in a Bourbon Street fast-food restaurant, reportedly after the BCS Championship game. It shows an Alabama fan exposing his genitals and rubbing them on an unconscious LSU fan.

"It's an embarrassment to everyone who wears the crimson and white," said Derek Christian, of New Iberia.

Christian is a die-hard Alabama fan and proudly flies a Crimson Tide flag outside of his home year-round. He enjoys a friendly rivalry with his neighbors across the street, the Schwing Family, who are die-hard LSU fans.

While they're opponents, they're also good friends and both sides were disgusted by the video they saw posted online.

"There's no need to be ugly, love thy neighbor," said Pierre Schwing.

While the assault video goes viral online, the Schwings and the Christians are hoping others will follow their example.

"Let the rivalry be like we do it, all in good fun," said Christian.

The New Orleans Police Department's sex crimes unit did review the video and says they are categorizing the incident as a sexual assault, however, officers say a victim has yet to come forward. If identified, the individual who committed the alleged assault could face sexual battery charges.

The University of Alabama released the following statement:

"UA hopes that our fans will act with class and dignity and we are disappointed when they don't. We are aware of the video, we will check into it and we will appropriately deal with any student who might have been involved."

If anyone can identify those in the video, contact the New Orleans Police Department.

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2 years ago

Video Depicts Apparent Sexual Assault of LSU Fan by Alabama Fan

A disturbing video has surfaced online showing an LSU fan apparently being sexually assaulted by an Alabama fan, reportedly after the BCS Championship game.

In the video, an Alabama fan can be seen exposing his genitals and rubbing them on an unconscious LSU fan. The incident happened inside a fast-food restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Police Department's sex crimes unit did review the video and says they are categorizing the incident as a sexual assault, however, officers say a victim has yet to come forward. If identified, the individual who committed the alleged assault could face sexual battery charges.

The University of Alabama released the following statement:

"UA hopes that our fans will act with class and dignity and we are disappointed when they don't. We are aware of the video, we will check into it and we will appropriately deal with any student who might have been involved."

If anyone can identify those in the video, contact the New Orleans Police Department.

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