Found October 02, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- An Alabama man pleaded guilty Tuesday to obscenity charges and faces a two-year prison sentence for rubbing his genitals on an unconscious LSU fan in a Bourbon Street restaurant after the BCS national title game in January.
Prosecutors reached a plea deal with Brian H. Downing of Smith Station, Ala., on the morning he was scheduled to be tried on charges that included sexual battery, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors agreed to drop the battery charge.
Downing is scheduled to be formally sentenced on Nov. 29, but Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Karen Herman indicated she will sentence Downing to two years in prison and recommend his participation in a boot camp program run by prison officials. Downing will not be required to register as a sex offender.
A video that went viral on the Internet appeared to show someone in a University of Alabama jacket exposing his genitals and performing a simulated sex act on the unconscious man at the restaurant after the Crimson Tide beat LSU for the BCS football championship on Jan. 9.
The LSU fan has sued Downing, asking damages for "mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety and depression ... damage to reputation" and lost tuition payments "for having to withdraw from school."
Christopher Bowman, spokesman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, said prosecutors consulted with the victim before agreeing on the plea deal. He described it as the "most just outcome and also the most certain outcome." He rejected the notion that Downing's actions were merely a drunken prank.
"When you put your genitals on someone's body, someone who is passed out, that's not a prank," he said. "I don't think people would be asking that question if the defendant had done it to a passed-out woman."
Michael Kennedy, one of Downing's attorneys, said his client decided to accept the deal in large part because he has a 1-year-old son and didn't want to have to register as a sex offender.
"Is it worth the risk of never seeing a Little League game? Of never being able to drop your child off at school? He decided no," Kennedy said.
Although Downing will be sentenced to two years, he may be eligible to serve less than half of that. Kennedy estimated his client will serve a minimum of nine months.
Downing didn't answer a reporter's questions after the brief hearing.
New Orleans police at first said they could only investigate the case if the fan filed a complaint, then sent out a wanted poster with screenshots from the video. Downing, a cousin of Russell County, Ala., Sheriff Heath Taylor, turned himself in.
Taylor said in January that after learning from other family members that Downing had been identified as the Alabama fan, he called Downing's father and told him to bring him to the sheriff's office in Phenix City, Ala. He said he then called New Orleans police to ask whether they wanted him to jail and extradite Downing or send him to New Orleans to surrender.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
An Alabama man pleaded guilty Tuesday to obscenity charges and faces a two-year prison sentence for rubbing his genitals on an unconscious LSU fan in a Bourbon Street restaurant after the BCS national title game in January.
Prosecutors reached a plea deal with Brian H. Downing of Smith Station, Ala., on the morning he was scheduled to be tried on charges that included sexual battery...
Brian Downing, the so-called "Alabama Teabagger," has plead guilty to charges of "two counts of obscenity for sexually taunting an unconscious LSU fan in a
Bourbon Street restaurant after the BCS national title game in January."
"A video that went viral on the Internet appeared to show someone in a
University of Alabama jacket performing a simulated...
Nick Saban, man of utter humility. Via al.com
A few weeks ago Alabama head football coach Nick Saban tried to deflate the idea that his team was invincible by claiming that the Crimson Tide could be beaten by Western Kentucky. One 35-0 defeat of the Hilltoppers, two shutouts of Arkansas and Florida Atlantic, and a 33-14 defeat of Ole Miss later, a lot of people may still...
Never let it be said that Alabama head football coach Nick Saban is at a loss for words in a press conference. In fact, he had quite a few words concerning the newer players on the Tide's special teams, not many of which were seemingly complementary.
coaching one thing and they're doing something else. Downstairs on the
board, it says you have to...
Just like Seal Team 6…Bama fan, abandoning aircraft to get the mission accomplished
Let it never be said that Alabama fan does not have his or her priorities in line. When embarking on a journey to see their beloved Tide play, they will let nothing stand in their way. There is no distance too great and no expense too exorbitant that may prevent them from somehow making it...
You may have noticed that the Alabama Crimson Tide disposed of Ole Miss with very little trouble on Saturday, 33-14. Head coach, Nick Saban, wanted to make certain that the team didn’t over look Ole Miss, simply because they are, Ole Miss. And while many believe that Bammer could just sleepwalk through games, it isn’t [...]
Alabama starting wide receiver DeAndrew White and running back Dee Hart are out for the season with knee injuries, so who will step up in their absence?
On the SEC Coaches Teleconference Wednesday morning, Alabama head coach Nick Saban gave his opinion of no-huddle offenses and asked if having such a fast-paced game is how we want football to be.
Alabama lost a running back and wide receiver for the season in Saturday night's 33-14 win over Ole Miss in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban announced the injuries to Dee Hart and DeAndrew White, and also announced the players of the week.
After Alabama beat Ole Miss 33-14 Saturday, head coach Nick Saban said the key to victory was forcing turnovers. The Crimson Tide has 15 takeaways so far season and rank third nationally in turnover margin.
Alabama hosted several visitors for its game against Ole Miss on Saturday night, and one of the youngest on campus already happens to have an offer from the Crimson Tide. Find out what the sophomore thought of the trip and where UA stands inside.
Notebook: Alabama head coach Nick Saban said there’s “lots of catching up to do” during the team's bye week.
No. 1 Alabama has lost wide receiver DeAndrew White and running
back Dee Hart for the season.
Alabama lost wide receiver DeAndrew White and running back Dee Hart to season-ending knee injuries Saturday. Has the Crimson Tide figured out who will take their respective spots yet?