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4 people arrested in alleged rape of LSU student who died after she was hit by car

East Baton Rouge authorities said two of the suspects raped Madison Brooks after taking her home from a bar following a night of drinking. She was later hit by a car and killed.
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Four people were arrested in connection with what investigators said was the rape of Madison Brooks, a Louisiana State University student who was fatally hit by a car shortly after, authorities said, the suspects dropped her off in an East Baton Rouge subdivision.

Two suspects, Kaivon Washington, 18, and an unidentified 17-year-old boy, were booked Monday on a charge each of third-degree rape, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office and jail records. Two other suspects, Casen Carver, 18, and Everett Lee, 28, were booked on a charge each of principal to third-degree rape, jail records show. Lee is Washington's uncle, the sheriff's office said.

Authorities allege that Washington and the 17-year-old raped Brooks in the back of Carver's car after she asked for a ride home from Reggie's bar on Jan. 15 following a night of drinking, an arrest report said.

The group is alleged to have dropped Brooks off just before 3 a.m. in an East Baton Rouge subdivision, where she was fatally hit by a car after she wandered into the street, according to the report. Brooks, 19, was taken to a hospital, where she died from her injuries. The driver was not arrested.

An autopsy said Brooks tested positive for THC and had a blood alcohol level of 0.319, nearly four times the legal limit for drivers, according to the report. It also found "injuries consistent with previous sexual assault."

Carver told investigators that he, his friends and Lee did not know Brooks before they met her at Reggie's, the report said. The sheriff’s office said it obtained video that showed Brooks and the group at the bar. At one point, she was seen hugging and dancing with the 17-year-old, authorities said.

Carver said that they were all drinking and that Brooks "was very unstable on her feet, was not able to keep her balance, and was unable to speak clearly without slurring her words," according to the report.

When they were about to leave, Brooks asked for a ride home, Carver told detectives. He said he agreed because "he did not want to leave her while very intoxicated and that the bar was closing," the report said.

Brooks reportedly had trouble telling Carver, who was driving, where she lived, according to the report. Carver said that when he asked her for her address, she "fell over and could not answer him."

Carver said he drove a short distance and parked, the report said. He told investigators that he heard the 17-year-old ask Brooks five times whether she wanted to have sex with him. Carver told authorities that Brooks "gave verbal consent." He also told investigators that Washington asked Brooks numerous times whether she wanted to have sex, "and she consented," according to the arrest report.

Carver said he and Lee, who was in the passenger's seat, remained in the car during both encounters, the report said. According to Carver, at one point he told his friends "we got to stop this, let’s go."

Asked by investigators whether he thought Brooks was too drunk to consent, Carver said, "I guess," the report said.

Carver said that he was still unable to find where Brooks lived and that he dropped her off in a subdivision.

Lee and a parent of the 17-year-old declined to speak with detectives, according to the arrest report. Washington denied having sex with Brooks, the report said.

NBC News could not reach Ron Haley, a lawyer who is representing two of the suspects, for comment Tuesday. He told WAFB-TV of Baton Rouge that a rape did not occur.

"She willfully got into the car, said that her rides had left her, and she got in. After that point in time, there were consensual sexual acts done in that car with her and two other individuals at two separate times," he said.

Haley said video of the encounter showed that Brooks was coherent.

He also said that Brooks and Carver got into a disagreement after they drove around looking for her address and that Brooks said she wanted to get out and call an Uber.

“Can you tell that she was intoxicated, yes. To the point under the law that you say you’re in a drunken stupor, to the point that you cannot lawfully give consent or answer questions, absolutely that was not the case,” he told WAFB.

The state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control said Tuesday afternoon it would issue an emergency suspension barring Reggie's bar from serving or selling alcohol because of the "seriousness of the allegations and the potential threat to public safety." An emergency hearing in February will determine whether any penalties should be imposed against the establishment.

Brooks was a member of LSU's Delta Tau Chapter of Alpha Phi, the sorority said on Facebook, remembering her as someone who made a "lasting impact on all of us." In a statement to the school community, LSU President William F. Tate IV said she was an "amazing young woman with limitless potential."

"She should not have been taken from us in this way. What happened to her was evil, and our legal system will parcel out justice," Tate said. "Our collective grief and outrage cannot be put into mere words."

The university has made national headlines in the past because of underage drinking. Four people were indicted in the 2017 death of 18-year-old LSU student Maxwell Gruver, whose blood-alcohol content was more than six times the legal limit for driving, after fraternity members were alleged to have subjected him to a hazing ritual. The school banned the fraternity until 2033.