NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Alabama fan, seen on a video apparently committing sexual battery on an unconscious LSU fan after the BCS championship football game, pleaded not guilty Monday at a hearing in Orleans Parish Criminal Court.
Brian H. Downing, 32, of Smiths Station, Ala., was arraigned on one count each of sexual battery of a male victim and obscenity.
“Mr. Downing tendered a plea of not guilty,” said his attorney, Michael Kennedy. “We tried to get the judge to reduce the bond, but he left it at $50,000.”
A video that went viral on the Internet appeared to show someone in a University of Alabama jacket abusing an unconscious Louisiana State University fan after Alabama beat LSU for the BCS football championship on Jan. 9.
In the video, a man appears to perform a simulated sex act on the LSU fan.
The LSU fan, whose name has not been released, has filed a civil lawsuit against Downing.
The lawsuit does not specify a dollar figure for damages. It says the LSU fan suffered “mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety and depression ... damage to reputation” and lost tuition payments “for having to withdraw from school.”
Downing has not been served with that suit, Kennedy said.
Since the alleged incident, Kennedy said Downing’s life has been reduced to scraping by on his wife’s salary and money received from her family and his. The couple has an 8-month-old son.
“He was fired from the job he held since college, and can’t get another one because of the charge against him,” Kennedy said. “He’s not receiving unemployment.”
The trial date was set for Sept. 4, Kennedy said. A pretrial hearing will be held July 23.