Jeffrey Brown, has been arrested for sexual battery in Coral Gables, Florida. For those who do not know who he is, Jeffrey Brown is a defensive tackle for the University of Miami Hurricanes.
Brown turned himself in to the Coral Gables Police Department and was later transported to the Miami-Dade County Jail. He is being held on $10,000 bond.
According to police, Brown admitted to having sex with a severely intoxicated female student in a campus dorm room. As a result of his arrest, the university has suspended Brown from its football program indefinitely.
According to the alleged victim, Brown helped her to her room under the pretense that he was there to help her since she was feeling ill from drinking too much. At some point thereafter, Brown allegedly forced sex onto the victim even though she told him to stop many times. The victim further claims that she was unable to fight Brown off due to her own drunkenness and the fact that he is 6’3″ and weighs 295 pounds.
As a criminal defense lawyer, I can tell you that these drunken sexual battery cases are difficult for prosecutors to prove. Many cases of these types result in guilty verdicts for lesser offenses.
The only thing to get in Jeffrey Brown’s way at this point, is Jeffrey Brown. According to police, he admitted to having sex with the woman. If he admitted to forcing sex on her knowing she was telling him to stop, Brown is going to have a huge problem, unless that statement can be suppressed.
It is not uncommon for police to unlawfully question a person in custody. When this happens, statements that either make or break the case can be suppressed by a judge. Whenever custodial interrogation is conducted by police, they have an obligation to read the defendant his/her Miranda rights.
When Miranda rights are not read, statements taken from custodial interrogation become inadmissible. This can ruin a case for prosecutors.
Moreover, as a criminal defense lawyer who has been to trial more than 100 times, I can tell you that jurors may question whether Jeffrey Brown actually committed rape or just had consensual, albeit drunken, sex with the victim.
It is not uncommon for jurors to view a voluntarily intoxicated victim with skepticism or dislike, and may also assume that she put herself in danger by her own volitional behavior.
To be clear, even though I am a criminal defense attorney, I am not condoning the actions of people who commit crimes of forcible sex.
However, the victim’s credibility and whether she consented to the sex in the moment are questions of fact for a jury to debate. Consent given during the sex act cannot be revoked the next morning when alcohol intoxication dissipates and a hang-over sets in.
Moreover, sexual battery cases that involve intoxicated victims are complicated by the physical effects of alcohol. Victims may not be able to clearly perceive and/or remember the details of the sexual battery. Additionally, there have been many cases where a victim of sexual battery misidentifies the perpetrator because his/her memory has become a blur due to the alcohol.
Another reason why alcohol related sexual battery cases are so difficult to prove is that most of them are reported at a time when the victim is no longer intoxicated, making it difficult to assess the victim’s blood alcohol content at the time of the alleged sexual battery.
Given the intricacies of these types of cases, Jeffrey Brown had better hire the most intelligent criminal defense lawyer he can find. Breaking down this case into its elements and presenting it to a jury the right way can make the difference between a guilty and not guilty verdict.
Another aspect of this case that must be examined by Jeffrey Brown’s criminal defense attorney is whether or not other eye witnesses have anything to add to understanding what really happened. For instance, was the victim’s roommate present when this happened? If so, what did he/she hear or see, if anything? What about eye witnesses in the room next door or the hallway?
If you have never been in a dorm room, all I can tell you is that they are very communal and everyone hears what everyone else is doing. There is little privacy and few secrets can be kept about who is having sex with who and when it goes down.
If the victim really was pleading with Brown to stop there is a really good chance someone else heard her. If not, her claims remain uncorroborated.
The bottom line is this – Jeffrey Brown is in the fight of his life. Losing his football career should be the last thing on his mind. In truth, he may lose a lot more than that if he is found guilty of sexual battery. In fact, he is looking at a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Whether this case involves a victim who was forcibly raped or a drunken frat girl who regrets having sex with a football player is yet to be seen. Whatever the truth is, I hope justice prevails for all of those affected by this case.