Brianna Brochu, the former University of Hartford student accused of harassing her roommate and contaminating the living space by smearing bodily fluids all over her roommate’s belongings, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of breach of peace and criminal mischief.
Brochu claimed that her roommate, Chennel “Jazzy Rowe,” who is black, was rude to her and posted videos online of her snoring, which prompted her to (allegedly) do disgusting things, like rub used tampons on Rowe’s backpack, lick Rowe’s utensils and contaminate Rowe’s lotions.
Brochu, according to the Hartford Courant, requested a jury trial, and the case is scheduled to continue after the new year on Jan. 29.
The Connecticut NAACP had publicly demanded in a protest that a felony hate crime charge be filed against the former freshman. Brochu had referred to Rowe as “Jamaican Barbie” in an Instagram post she published soon after Rowe announced that she was moving out.
“Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After 1 1/2 month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons [on] her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie,” Brochu wrote in the caption for photos posted on Instagram.
Even more alarmingly, Rowe described that she kept getting sick throughout the time when her living quarters were allegedly badly contaminated by her roommate from hell.
However, hate crime charges will apparently not be added.
“We are very very disappointed with the prosectors … not pressing this case hard enough,” NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile said, according to the Courant. “They are not making this an urgent matter from where we sit.”
On Monday, following the announcement, representatives of the NAACP again protested, voicing their concern over the lack of hate crime charges.
“We expect [the prosecutors] to fight on behalf of the people of our community,” Esdaile added. “This is a hate crime. Let’s stop playing games. Let’s stop pushing this away.”
However Brochu’s lawyer, Thomas Stevens, said last month that he doubted hate crime charges would be filed, claiming that his client had no racial motivation.
“I think this is sort of not the case that you all have been fanning the flame on,” Stevens said. “I think when it’s all said and done, what you’re gonna see is there was nothing racial that motivated this.
“This was two students who were placed together, I think randomly … who didn’t like each other, like has been happening since kids went to school and became roommates,” he added.
Read more at the Hartford Courant.