Brianna Brochu Avoids Hate Crime Charges, Pleads Not Guilty

Chennel Rowe and Brianna Brochu

Ex-Student Who Tormented Black Roomie Avoids Hate Crime Charge

Brianna Brochu bragged about systematically poisoning the roommate she referred to as "Jamaican Barbie" on social media.

by Zahara Hill, December 18, 2017

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Chennel Rowe and Brianna Brochu

Jazzy Rowe/Facebook; Hartford Courant

A White former University of Hartford student has evaded a hate crime charge after boasting about systematically poisoning her Black roommate on social media.

In an October Instagram post, Brianna Brochu, 18, admitted to smearing used tampons on her roommate’s backpack, putting moldy clam dip in her facial cleanser and inserting a toothbrush belonging to her former roommate “where the sun don’t shine.” Rowe was made aware of her ex-roommate’s malice only after moving out of their room.



Her story went viral when she posted a video to Facebook about the mistreatment she faced in late October. In the video, Rowe shared the health complications she endured because of Brochu and the questionable manner in which her school handled her complaints about her former roommate.

Activist groups such as the NAACP called for Brochu to be charged with a hate crime. In November, word of her possibly avoiding a hate crime charge began to circulate. Brochu’s lawyer, Tom Stevens, who first made the claim, proved to be right on Monday.

Despite Brochu bragging about her malicious deeds in a now-deleted Instagram post, she pleaded not guilty to criminal mischief and breach of peace charges.

Imam Abdul-Shahid Muhammad Ansari, president of the NAACP Greater Hartford branch, decried the court’s decision.

“She should be charged with a hate crime,” he told NBC News on Monday. “We made our feelings known and will continue to do so, letting the community know and elected officials know as well.”

 





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