Plea deal reached to avoid sexual battery charge
NEW ORLEANS — An Alabama man accused of sexually assaulting a passed out LSU fan after the BCS National Championship in January pled guilty to obscenity.
According to prosecutors, Brian Downing, 33, of Smiths Station, Ala., pled guilty to two counts of obscenity in a plea deal reached Tuesday morning before the scheduled start of trial. Hurricane Isaac caused a delay in the start of the trial, which gave Downing's defense more time to work on a plea deal.
According to reports, the deal calls for him to be sentenced to two years in jail. Conviction of obscenity usually carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.
If he would have been convicted on the original indicted sexual battery and obscenity charges handed to him in May, Downing could have been sentenced up to ten years in prison.
State District Judge Karen Herman set sentencing where Downing will report to jail for November 29.
Downing turned himself in to the New Orleans Police Department after being identified in a video gone viral on YouTube showing the alleged act, a man wearing Alabama fan attire, exposing and rubbing his genitals on an unconscious LSU fan at a Bourbon Street eatery, after LSU lost to Alabma in the BCS National Championship game on January 9, 2012.
The victim has filed a lawsuit against Downing and the Krystal Burger fast food restaurant, where the incident took place. He alleges the restaurant's employees knew about the actions of the suspect but didn't intervene. He wants financial damages for mental anguish, humiliation and damage to his reputation.