Lawyer for teen who smeared bodily fluids on roommate’s belongings says she shouldn’t face hate crime charges
The former University of Hartford student charged with desecrating her former roommate’s belongings likely won’t be charged with a hate crime, her lawyer said.
Brianna Brochu, who is white, was tossed from the Connecticut college after admitting in an Instagram post she put her black former roommate’s toothbrush "where the sun doesn't shine.”
The 18-year-old ex-student also referred to the roommate, Chennel Rowe, as “Jamaican Barbie,” and admitted to smearing a dirty tampon on her backpack in an Instagram post.
That led to her being charged with criminal mischief and breach of peace. Police recommended she also be charged with a hate crime, but she wasn’t when she appeared before a judge Tuesday.
Her lawyer, Tom Stevens, said during a Tuesday court appearance this had nothing to do with race. Instead, Rowe was just a rude roommate to the point where Brochu needed to act out, he continued.
“I think that when it's all said and done, what you're going to see is that there was nothing racist that motivated this,” Stevens said outside of court. “These were two students who were placed together, who didn't like each other and it escalated.”
Apparently that included “spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions,” in the Instagram post after Rowe moved out.
Brochu later told cops she embellished some of those incidents in a bid to “appear funny,” according to a police report.
She did fess up to smearing the blood on Rowe’s backpack as well as licking her plate and utensils.
Rowe, a New York City native, believes Brochu’s actions caused the extreme throat pain she’s suffered.
She had been given antibiotics for the “bad bacteria” after health officials at the school couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her.
Brochu’s actions sparked anger, and the local chapter of the NAACP rallied before her court appearance Tuesday, CBS affiliate WFSB reported. They demanded Brochu be hit with hate crime charges, and filled the courtroom during her appearance.
Stevens said the student admits her actions were a mistake. Brochu has told local media her actions weren’t of a racial nature.
They were enough to get her tossed out of the University of Hartford.
School President Greg Woodward previously called her actions “reprehensible,” adding the university forwarded the case to local police after it was reported on Oct. 17.
Brochu is due back in court on Dec. 18.
- With News Wire Services