A former Hartford student Brianna Brochu, accused of smearing her roommate's backpack with a used tampon, pleaded not guilty on Monday. Prosecutors did not file other additional charges against her.
Since the Connecticut case has gained massive media attention, many civil rights advocates were demanding the state to add hate crime charges to the criminal mischief and breach of peace counts Brochu was already accused of.
According to the police, the 18-year-old Brochu posted on Instagram that she had been smearing used tampons on Chennel Rowe’s backpack, as well as putting her roommate’s toothbrush “where the sun doesn’t shine”. She also called her roommate nicknames, like “Jamaican Barbie” or Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe.
Brochu had been boasting that she had put dirty clam dip in her roommate’s lotion and spit in her coconut oil.
As a result of Brochu's actions, Rowe started feeling unwell and shared on Facebook that she was suffering from an extreme throat pain and doctors could not diagnose her illness. When Rowe announced that she was moving out, Brochu expressed her happiness by commenting goodbye under her Instagram post.
After the court hearing, Brochu gave an interview to a Republican-American newspaper, telling the reporters she acted like a fool but she was never a racist. Brochu believed her actions were funny, and that they were not racially motivated.
Last month, Thomas Stevens, Brochu’s lawyer, stated that he was sure that hate crime charges would not be filed. He claimed that his client had no racial motivation and this was a case of two students who were placed together in one room who simply didn’t like each other.
Prosecutors are still investigating the case. Next hearing is scheduled for January 29, 2018.