Former UHart student gets accelerated rehab in body fluids case

Brianna Brochu (Photo: West Hartford Police)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A white former Connecticut university student accused of smearing body fluids on her black roommate’s belongings was granted accelerated rehabilitation by a judge on Monday.

Brianna Brochu stood in front of a judge, and just a few feet from her former college roommate in a crowded Hartford courtroom. The two did not get along at the University of Hartford, with Brochu eventually bragging about doing some disgusting things. Police say the former University of Hartford student wrote on Instagram in October about rubbing used tampons on her roommate’s backpack and putting her roommate’s toothbrush “where the sun doesn’t shine.”

“Spitting in my coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in all of my body and face lotions,” Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy read from police interviews with the former roommate, Chennel Rowe.

Police say the former University of Hartford student wrote on Instagram in October about rubbing used tampons on her roommate’s backpack and putting her roommate’s toothbrush “where the sun doesn’t shine.”

“It was clear that she had a plan, she had a plot, she carried it out, she bragged about it, and had a celebration after she carried out her plan, and said, ‘I got rid of the Jamaican Barbie,'” said Connecticut NAACP president Scot X. Esdaile outside the courthouse.

Brochu’s phrase “Jamaican Barbie” had civil rights leaders calling for hate crime charges.

In court, however, Brochu’s attorney Thomas Stevens said, “There was nothing racial that motivated what happened.” In fact, Stevens said Chennel Rowe called herself “Jamaican Barbie.”

“A lie,” said Esdaile. “It wasn’t true. She called herself the ‘Ja Barbie.’ ‘Ja’ means Jehovah, which means God, she’s God’s child.”

The hearing on 18-year-old Brianna Brochu‘s request for accelerated rehabilitation was in Hartford Superior Court. The program could result in misdemeanor charges being erased from her record.

Rowe says she developed throat pain and is still traumatized.

“I have lost appetite, I cannot sleep, I do not trust others,” Rowe said.

However, prosecutors say there is not enough evidence to file hate crime charges. Brochu is instead charged with two misdemeanors, and Monday’s hearing is to decide if she can get “Accelerated Rehabiliation,” a kind of probation. Her former roommate actually said she supports “A.R.”

“By giving her this second chance, I hope she will change her ways and find love for all mankind,” Rowe said.

Related: Woman in body fluids case not facing hate crimes charge

The Judge agreed, declaring Brochu’s application for Accelerated Rehabilitation granted.

“They did not do the right thing, and they need to be held accountable,” said Esdaile.

If Brochu completes 200 hours of community service, her criminal record gets erased. Civil rights leaders say that is a bad precedent in today’s climate.

“Today the court system let this young lady get away,” said Esdaile. “Now everybody can think that they can get away with this nonsense and get a slap on their hand.”

Rowe had asked that Brochu be forced to do her community service at a civil rights organization. The judge ordered Brochu to do at least some of her work at a non-profit that is “meaningful” to her in regards to this case, and then write an essay for the court about why it was meaningful.


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