Ashley Baustert, like many parents, was anxious when Madison went to college. She experienced countless sleepless nights.
She said, “I made her call me as soon as she came home. I did all of that.”
It was at 11:38 pm on Jan. 14, when Madison Brooks, 19, a student of Louisiana State University, sent her last text to her mother. It said: “I love You!”
Baustert’s nightmare was a reality just over three hours later.
Brooks died after being hit by a rideshare vehicle. Police said the 19-year-old was dropped off drunk by four men in a Baton Rouge subdivision. Two of them allegedly had raped Brooks in a car just moments before.
Baustert said, “It is gut-wrenching.” “Losing her, and having to live with this pain day after day, it’s traumatic.”
Four people have been charged with the incident. Desmond Carter (17) was indicted by a grand jury on February charges of first and third-degree rape. He has been charged as an adult.
Kaivon Washington, 18, has been charged with first-degree rape as well as video voyeurism. Police say that Everett Lee and Casen Carrer, both aged 18 years, remained in their car. Both were charged with rape in third-degree principle, which means that they were present at the alleged rape but did not take part.
Baustert is confident that there are enough facts to “serve justice.”
The mother stated that this was a closed case. Her blood alcohol level had reached such a high level that she could not consent.
Brooks’ BAC, according to officials, was.319%. This is almost four times higher than the legal driving limit. The bar Brooks left had its liquor license revoked by the state in April.
Attorneys for Brooks’ accusers have denied the allegations of rape and maintained that Brooks entered and exited the vehicle by herself. In one video Brooks can be seen leaving a bar. In another video, provided by the defense to WBRZ, Brooks is seen getting out of the car.
Baustert criticized the defense’s “victim-blaming”, and said the district attorney had other evidence which hasn’t yet been presented.
She said, “I think that the defense is grasping for straws.” “They’re going to leak anything they can in order to make it appear as if there was an agreement.”
Washington is at least one of those men who has been charged with first-degree rape. The two cases date back to the years 2020 and 2022.
Louisiana punishes first-degree rape with life without parole.
Baustert says she is trying to avoid the court case because it’s upsetting. She’s more focused on honoring the legacy of her daughter through the Madison Brooks Foundation.
The foundation’s mission is to promote the safety of young people.
Baustert stated, “I hope to prevent another family from experiencing a terrible tragedy.”
A Louisiana bill that would have prohibited people under 21 years of age from entering bars was met with stiff opposition earlier this month. The law has been amended to allow those aged 18-20 to enter bars, but the bars will face harsher penalties if they serve alcohol to anyone underage.