A Louisiana State University sorority member who was allegedly raped before being fatally hit by a car reportedly worked at a bar where she and four suspected men were drinking hours before the shocking attack.
LSU sophomore Madison Brooks, 19, occasionally worked with her Alpha Phi sorority sisters at the bar at Reggie’s in East Baton Rouge, where she drank on the eve of her death Jan. 15, according to the Daily Mail.
Brooks posted several pictures of herself at the bar online, including one with two of her buddies, captioned “3 Little Reggie Workers.”
It is unclear if Brooks was officially hired at the drinking establishment. In Louisiana, the minimum age for bartending and selling alcohol is 18.
Meanwhile, the State Alcohol and Tobacco Control Administration suspended the bar’s liquor license on Tuesday due to the “seriousness of the allegations and potential threat to public safety” in light of the case, The Advocate reported.
ATC Commissioner Ernest Legier said the emergency suspension would remain in place until a hearing next month.
Police investigating Brooks’ death said she was caught on CCTV footage entering a bar around 10 p.m. Jan. 14, when she was apparently not working, according to the Daily Mail.
According to police, she met a 17-year-old boy in a bar and left drunk with him between 1 and 2 am on January 15.
Authorities said the couple were joined by three other men and got into a car, where two of them allegedly raped her before she was dropped nearby and hit by a car.
The 17-year-old and Kayvon Washington, 18, were charged with third-degree rape, while Everett Lee, 28, and Kaysen Carver, 18, were charged with principle third-degree rape.
According to The Advocate, none of the suspects is a student at LSU.
Carver told investigators that Brooks was “very unsteady on her feet, unable to keep her balance and unable to speak clearly without muttering words,” the affidavit says.
Her blood alcohol content was found to be 0.319%, nearly four times the legal limit.
The 17-year-old and Washington allegedly raped Brooks in the back seat of Carver’s car. The suspects admitted she was “drunk” but claimed she was able to consent to sex, police said.
The suspects dropped Brooks off in a nearby area, where she was hit by another vehicle at approximately 3 a.m. on Burbank Drive near Pelican Lakes Parkway.
Prosecutors will seek an increase in the first-degree rape charge against the three suspects and plan to convene a grand jury in the case, WAFB said.
District Judge Brad Myers said during the bail hearing that he watched a video taken by one of the suspects showing them laughing “callely” as Brooks slurs his words in the car, but does not show the attack.
The judge said he also viewed footage from the bar showing her stumbling, falling and needing help to stand up in front of the attack.
Lawyers for the suspects said the footage would prove that the sexual encounter was consensual.
Regis’ lawyer Chris Perret told the newspaper that the bar was cooperating with the investigation.
Bar owner Darin Adams did not respond to a Daily Mail request for comment, which also reported that autopsy results showed she had traces of THC or cannabis in her system at the time of Brooks’ death.
Regis has been implicated in several incidents over the years, including in October 2015 when a 19-year-old man was charged with raping a drunk woman who left a bar, according to the Daily Mail.
According to the newspaper, in January 2016, 22-year-old LSU football player Dillon Gordon was stabbed at a drinking establishment.
The following year, the license was reportedly suspended for 45 days after dozens of people were arrested, many for underage drinking.
And in May 2022, 16-year-old Karltez Tucker was shot and killed outside a bar, and a 24-year-old woman was injured. Three people were arrested in the incident, according to the Daily Mail.
LSU President William Tate said in a statement: “Madison has been a daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, classmate and friend to so many of you. By all accounts, she was an amazing young woman with limitless potential. She shouldn’t have been taken from us like that. What happened to her was evil, and our legal system is doing justice.”
He noted that the three suspects were minors, “but may have consumed alcohol at a local bar.”
Some campus advocates criticized his response.
Junior Mirissa Aysworth, president of Feminists in Action, said the Tate statement accused Brooks of a crime.
“When talking about alcohol, he in a sense also blames her for the situation because she was drunk and underage,” she told The Advocate. “You should never blame the victims in these situations. It was really hard to read.”
Feminists in Action and LSU Democrats said in a joint statement, “We are glad you are outraged. But we urge you to direct this energy towards correcting the sexual abuse our community faces, rather than using alcohol as a scapegoat.”