A former University of Hartford student accused of tainting her black roommate’s personal items with her bodily fluids and bragging about it on social media has reportedly avoided hate crime charges.
According to the Hartford Courant, Brianna Brochu, 18, pleaded not guilty Monday to breach of peace and criminal mischief charges. Brochu, who is white, was expelled from the university after she allegedly admitted in an Instagram post that she rubbed used tampons on her then-roommate’s backpack, spit in her coconut oil, and tampered with her toothbrush.
“Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!,” Brochu wrote, according to the Miami Herald.
“After 1 1/2 months of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons on her backpack, putting her toothbrush where the sun doesn’t shine and so much more I can finally say goodbye to Jamaican Barbie.”
— tsunami taj (@EverythingTaj) October 31, 2017
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, claimed during an hourlong Facebook live stream that she experienced throat pain for the month she lived with Brochu, possibly from the contaminated toothbrush.
Rowe said she informed Brochu that she was moving out on October 17. She was relocating her things when two resident assistants alerted her to Brochu’s alleged posts.
Though local police and activists pressed for intimidation based on bigotry or bias charges, defense attorney Thomas Stevens told the Hartford Courant that it’s unlikely that his client will face hate crime charges. NBC reports that Stevens said that he doesn’t believe Brochu’s actions were racially motivated.
So this is what happened….
Posted by Jazzy Rowe on Monday, October 30, 2017
“I think that when it’s all said and done, what you’re going to see is that there was nothing racist that motivated this. These were two students who were placed together … who didn’t like each other … and it escalated,” Stevens said during a November court hearing.
Prosecutors declined to speak about forthcoming charges other than saying that their decision is influenced by evidence and the law.
“We are very very disappointed with the prosecutors … not pressing this case hard enough,” NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile said outside court, the Courant reported.
“They are not making this an urgent matter from where we sit.”
Brochu requested a jury trial and the case has been continued until January 29.
[Featured Image: Chennel Rowe/Facebook; Brianna Brochu/West Hartford Police Department]