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Evidence leaks in Madison Brooks case take ’emotional toll’ on family as defense doubts conviction

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WARNING: GRAPHIC

DNA from the four suspects charged in the alleged rape of Madison Brooks was not found inside the Louisiana State University sophomore, according to her leaked autopsy, which was exclusively obtained by WBRZ.

Genetic material from one of the suspects, Kaivon Washington, was found around the LSU student’s genital area, and an abrasion and bruising on Brooks’ back side was noted as “highly suspicious for a sexual assault,” the local Baton Rouge news outlet reported. 

However, a separate lab report said there was insufficient male DNA present and no indication that an assault might have occurred, WBRZ reported

The suspects’ attorneys believe this will exonerate them, one of the suspect’s lawyers, Joe Long, said in an email, but the snippets of info that continue to be leaked takes “an emotional toll” on Brooks’ family, Brooks’ mother said.

EXCLUSIVE: LSU DEATH: MADISON BROOKS’ LAST TEXT TO MOM, WHO ‘KNEW SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED’

Madison-Brooks

Madison Brooks, 19, was a LSU sophomore when she was allegedly raped in January 2023 before she was fatally struck by a car. (Ashley Baustert)

Brooks, 19, was about to start the second half of her sophomore year at LSU on Jan. 14, when she drank too much at Reggie’s, a bar in the crime-ridden university social hot spot known as “Tigerland.”

Sometime between her last text to her mom, Ashley Baustert, at 11:38 p.m. and 3 a.m. the next morning, Brooks was allegedly raped, and the suspects are four men she met at the bar.

AS LSU REELS FROM MADISON BROOKS ALLEGED RAPE AND DEATH, CRIME TORMENTS COLLEGE TOWN

The alleged attack happened in one of the suspect’s car, and Brooks was left on the side of a busy, four-lane highway about four miles away, where she was fatally struck by another car. 

Desmond Carter, 17, Casen Carver, 18, Everett Lee, 28, and Washington, 18, were all arrested in connection with the alleged rape. 

mugshots of three of the suspects in Madison Brooks' case, and photo of Madison Brooks

From left to right, Kaivon Washington, Everett Lee, Casen Carver and Madison Brooks. (East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office/Instagram)

Washington and Carter are accused of raping Brooks, and Carver, who drove the car, along with Lee allegedly facilitated the crime, prosecutors said.

The suspects, through their lawyers, denied the accusations and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

‘Taking a toll on my family’ 

Details of Brooks’ autopsy offer the latest example of droplet-sized evidence that has been leaked since the case captured national headlines shortly after the new year.

Before this, a couple of short videos that paint Brooks in a negative light were aired on local news stations.

Updated photo LSU student Madison Brooks

An undated photo of LSU student Madison Brooks, who was fatally hit by a car after an alleged rape. (The Brooks family)

The first clip was a four-second video obtained by local news outlet WAFB about two weeks after Brooks died that appeared to show her jogging behind her suspected attackers as they left Reggie’s Bar.

The second clip, a 29-second video from inside the suspect’s car, was obtained by WBRZ and aired on Feb. 13, along with an interview with the suspects’ lawyers.

MADISON BROOKS’ FAMILY ON LEAKED VIDEO CLIPS NIGHT OF ALLEGED RAPE: ‘REALLY LOW BLOW’

Baustert, who was emotional during an interview with Fox News Digital Thursday night, said she and her family are relying on their faith and prayer as “they take it one day at a time.”

“There’s ups and downs, but it takes an emotional toll on us,” she said. “This doesn’t change anything. A grand jury saw the evidence and still chose to indict.”

WATCH: LEAKED VIDEO OF BROOKS LEAVING BAR

‘No reasonable jury will convict’

Long, who represents Carver, told Fox News Digital in an email that the autopsy is a game changer as a potential trial looms. 

“We believe the DNA evidence gives us reasonable doubt. No reasonable jury will convict after hearing that evidence,” Long said in an email.

“The state will have a very difficult time proving sexual intercourse if there is no DNA in the victim. And even if the State could prove sexual intercourse, it cannot prove it was not consensual.”

EXCLUSIVE: LSU STUDENTS HAILED AS GOOD SAMARITANS AFTER ALLEGED BATON ROUGE RAPE

He cited a section of the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct in denying Fox News Digital’s request for the autopsy, but said the WBRZ story is accurate.

Long said he has “allowed me to make a limited comment to counter adverse publicity from the family, but I have done that and cannot do any more than what I have done.” 

He said the Fox Nation “Special Report” by Nancy Grace, which premiered last week, “was the justification.”

WATCH FOX NATION: LEFT FOR DEAD: THE CASE OF MADISON BROOKS

Ashley Baustert, mother of Madison Brooks, stands in front of a billboard for the Madison Brooks Foundation

Ashley Baustert, mother of Madison Brooks, stands in front of a billboard for the Madison Brooks Foundation in Times Square on Monday, May 8, 2023. Brooks was fatally struck by a car earlier this year. (Julia Bonavita/Fox News Digital )

The evidential videos have not been released in their entirety, to date, but are in the hands of the Baton Rouge District Attorney Office, which is prosecuting the case.

The DA’s office secured grand jury indictments against three of the four suspects on the state’s most severe sexual assault charge, which is punishable by life in prison.

Baustert’s lawyer responds

Kerry Miller, the lawyer who represents Brooks’ mother, addressed the leaked autopsy report during an interview Thursday night with Fox News Digital.

“This is what jury trials are for, to get the totality of all the evidence and not snippets of selectively-released material,” Miller said. 

“It’s easy for the defense to make comments because the victim isn’t here to speak for herself, but the suspects’ lawyers’ recent comments are a 180 from their original statements.”

MADISON BROOKS: TIMELINE OF LSU STUDENT’S ALLEGED RAPE, DEATH

Miller was referring to Carver’s statements to investigators, which were included in previously released court documents, and the lawyers’ press conference where they argued their clients’ sex with Brooks was consensual. 

Carver allegedly told investigators that Washington and Carter asked Brooks to have sex with them, and she agreed, the warrant says.

Madison-Brooks-cheerleader

Madison Brooks, a 19-year-old LSU sophomore, was allegedly raped in January before being fatally struck by a car. (Ashley Baustert)

“(The defense lawyers) stood on the steps of the courthouse and said the sex was consensual. Where do you think they got that information that there was sex? Their clients,” Miller said.

“Now are they going to argue there was no sex at all? Are they going to move to suppress their clients’ original statements to the police? Their arguments are all over the place.”

SUSPECT IN LSU STUDENT MADISON BROOKS’ ALLEGED RAPE ARRESTED AGAIN, ACCUSED OF THIRD SEX CRIME

The alleged attackers were initially booked on a charge of third-degree rape, which involves sexual intercourse that “is deemed to be without the lawful consent of a victim,” according to Louisiana state law.

Brooks’ blood-alcohol level was initially reported to be .319%, almost four times the legal level to drive, according to authorities.

The autopsy report said her BAC was 12% lower than what was initially reported, according to WBRZ, although it was still a dangerously high level of intoxication. 

WATCH: MILLER’S JAN. 30 INTERVIEW ON LEAKED VIDEOS

District attorney’s comment

The East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office could not immediately be reached for comment on the autopsy.

The EBRDA’s Office issued a lengthy statement to WBRZ.

The DA is seeking a protective order to prevent future discovery being placed in the public record “and handed out in a piecemeal fashion to protect our ability to present a fair case for the State, its victim and these defendants.”

FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

Updated photo LSU student Madison Brooks

An undated photo of LSU student Madison Brooks, who was fatally hit by a car after an alleged rape in January. (The Brooks family)

“Although I do not know your source of information, the facts are that my office provided many items of discovery as obligated by law, in this case yesterday to three law offices representing these defendants,” the DA’s office told the news outlet.

“These documents were not placed in the public record but only given to these offices. We will continue to abide by our discovery obligations and file these matters with the court. 

“The discovery that was provided as ‘read only.’ It is obvious from the audit trail who received and viewed what evidence and how many times such was viewed. The source will be obvious. 

MADISON BROOKS REMEMBERED IN OBITUARY AS LIVING ‘EVERY DAY TO THE FULLEST’

“We have never provided any discovery to the media, and we will continue to not try this case in the media but in the court in the best interest of all parties involved. 

“Based on the release of this information we will seek a protective order to prevent future discovery being placed in the public record and handed out in a piecemeal fashion to protect our ability to present a fair case for the State, its victim and these defendants.”

Updated photo LSU student Madison Brooks

An undated photo of LSU student Madison Brooks, who was fatally hit by a car after an alleged rape. (The Brooks family)

Update on the case

There is a scheduled hearing on Aug. 1, and Long said they will have a jury trial within eight months. 

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Washington, Carter and Carver were each indicted on first- and third-degree rape, which is punishable by life in prison. Lee was charged with third-degree rape.

The suspects have pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

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