The lawyer for a white ex-University of Hartford student who has been accused of harassing her black roommate by tampering with her personal toiletry items and smearing bodily fluids on her backpack said that he does not expect his client to be charged with a hate crime in the case.
Brianna Brochu had a court appearance Tuesday, and according to the Hartford Courant, her case has been continued until Dec. 18. Her lawyer, Thomas Stevens, told the Courant that she will enter a plea on that date.
When her alleged harassment of her roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, came to light, Brochu was kicked out of the university and charged with breach of peace and criminal mischief by the West Hartford, Conn., Police Department. Brochu told police that she did not have a good relationship with Rowe, whom she accused of being rude to her and posting videos online of her snoring to make fun of her.
The NAACP has called for prosecutors to press hate crime charges against Brochu, but Stevens told the Courant that he doesn’t think a hate charge will be added to the case.
“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.
Brochu admitted to police that after becoming angry with Rowe, she licked Rowe’s utensils; put blood from one of her used tampons on Rowe’s backpack; and contaminated lotions on Rowe’s desk.
In her account to police, Rowe said that Brochu “generally ignored her and treated her as a ghost,” according to the warrant for Brochu’s arrest. Rowe had requested a room change and was in the process of moving to a new room Oct. 17 when Brochu’s Instagram post bragging about her alleged actions against Rowe surfaced.
Stevens said that his client has said she regrets what she did.
Read more at the Hartford Courant.