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Jan 17, 2012 7:22 PM by Elizabeth Hill

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."


» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.


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