A University of Hartford student will have the opportunity to wipe her criminal record clean after she was handed probation by a judge in a case that has been called a hate crime.
In October of 2017, Brianna Brochu was a student at the University of Hartford (UH) when she was arrested after being accused of licking her black roommate’s dining utensils and smearing bodily fluids on the woman’s backpack. Brochu, who is white, then posted a message on Instagram boasting about her actions:
Brouchu was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief and breach of peace over the incident and was expelled from UH.
Yesterday, she faced Judge Omar Williams in Hartford, Conn. and with her former roommate in the courtroom, was given two years of probation and 200 hours of community service. If she completes hours and avoids further trouble with the law, her record will be wiped clean after two years.
The roommate, Chennel Rowe, did not oppose the probation request, saying she hoped Brochu would “change her ways,” according to the Boston Globe via the AP.
Both Brochu and Rowe told police they never got along and had requested the university give them new roommates.
But state NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile told reporters outside the courtroom that he feels Brochu should have been charged with a hate crime. “There’s a system for white people and there’s a system for black people,” he said, according to the Hartford Courtant‘s report. “That’s what we face every day.”
Brochu’s lawyer apologized on her behalf and made it clear that Brochu’s actions were not racially motivated.
According to the AP:
Brochu also told authorities that she did put tampon blood on Rowe’s backpack and licked Rowe’s plate, fork and spoon, but denied doing anything else. She said she lied in the Instagram post in an attempt to ‘‘appear funny,’’ a police report said.
Brianna Brochu Charged With Harassing Former University Of Hartford Roommate, Gets Probation https://t.co/048g0kbQNv
— The Black Detour (@theblackdetour) March 13, 2018
— Kass (@Kottley1) March 13, 2018
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