Reggie’s in Tigerland Has License Pulled, Judge Sets Bond for Suspects in Madison Brooks Rape Case
State officials are suspending the liquor license of a Tigerland bar in the wake of reports that a 19-year-old LSU student was heavily drinking there before being raped and then fatally struck by a vehicle.
It's an absolutely heartbreaking story that we've been following since it was reported that LSU student Madison Brooks was struck by a car while standing in the middle of Burbank Drive in the early morning hours of January 15.
Less than 24 hours later, we learned that Brooks had died as a result of being hit but her unfortunate fate seemed to be shrouded in mystery as many wondered why she was wandering in the road at that time of night.
On Monday (Jan. 23) new details added a disturbing twist to the already tragic story as WBRZ reported that 4 suspects had been arrested and were being charged in a rape investigation as authorities claim Brooks was sexually assaulted before being dropped off close to where she would be fatally struck by a car.
Investigators also revealed that all of the incidents were reportedly preceded by a night of heavy drinking at Reggie's bar in Tigerland.
In addition to 19-year-old brooks, three out of the four suspects were all below the legal drinking age but consumed alcohol that night according to what authorities were able to confirm during the investigation. One of the suspects was a 17-year-old juvenile who wasn't even old enough to be in the bar.
That 17-year-old, along with 18-year-old Kaivon Washington, allegedly had sex with Brooks in the backseat of a vehicle after giving her a ride from the bar while the other two suspects sat in the front seat. After having sex with Brooks, the suspects dropped her off near a subdivision along Burbank Drive "shortly before she apparently wandered into oncoming traffic."
Along with THC found in her urine sample, East Baton Rouge Parish authorities say Brooks' blood-alcohol level of .319 percent was near "four times the legal driving limit for an adult"; enough to cause alcohol poisoning and render her unconscious.
Within 24 hours of the new details surrounding Madison Brooks' death being reported, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) announced they were pulling the liquor license of Reggie's bar "immediately" due to the gravity of the allegations revealed in the arrest warrant as well as the "potential threat to public safety."
The Louisiana ATC is working with Baton Rouge ABC and local law enforcement to investigate and share evidence regarding recent incidents at this establishment. Due to the seriousness of the allegations and the potential threat to public safety, an emergency suspension will be issued today. This action immediately suspends the service or sale of alcoholic beverages at this location. An emergency hearing will be held next month to determine what penalties (if any) should be imposed following a presentation of the evidence.
Reggie's subsequently issued a statement claiming that they will continue to cooperate with investigators and officials just as they have "since their first requests for assistance in their ongoing investigations."
According to the WBRZ report, Reggie's previously had their liquor license suspended by the ATC in 2017 after authorities caught underage patrons drinking in the popular Tigerland bar.
In addition to reports involving the emergency suspension of Reggie's liquor license, there have also been new developments in regard to the four suspects. A separate WBRZ report stated that a bond has been set for all four suspects arrested in connection with the rape investigation following Madison Brooks' death.
On Tuesday, a judge assigned bonds to all three adult suspects under the stipulation that they remain under house arrest and wear ankle monitors. Carver is being held on a $50,000 bond. Lee is held on a $75,000 bond, and Washington is held on a $150,000 bond.
Sources told WBRZ on Tuesday that the 17-year-old's court hearing was pushed back to next month, meaning he'll sit in juvenile jail for weeks.
The report also stated that the NAACP is "working with prominent Baton Rouge attorneys" who are representing two of the suspects who claim there is "video evidence refuting allegations that Brooks was raped."
While defense attorneys believe that video evidence taken by the suspects will prove that she was coherent and that their clients should not be charged with raping her, a judge viewed footage filmed by one of the suspects prior to setting their bond that did not seem to play in their favor whatsoever based on his statements.
19th Judicial District Judge Brad Myers says prior to setting bond, he viewed video filmed by one of the suspects. He noted the video showed the suspects “callously” laughing as the young student slurred her words inside of the car, but does not show the assault. Myers says he also reviewed video from Reggie’s bar near LSU which showed the student stumbling, falling over, and needing help standing prior to the sexual encounter.
Myers said the combination of the video footage along with statements collected by investigators only convinced him that a crime had occurred. According to reports, prosecutors are aiming to upgrade the third-degree rape charges to first-degree rape charges and to convene a grand jury in the case.
While bond was set for three of the four suspects, placing them on home confinement with permission to leave only for work and visits with their attorneys, the 17-year-old suspect's pre-trial bond hearing was pushed back to February and he will remain sitting in juvenile jail for the next few weeks.