A former student at the University of Hartford in Connecticut who was accused of smearing body fluids on her roommate's belongings made a short court appearance Tuesday and is due back in court next month.
Brianna Brochu, an 18-year-old Harwinton resident, who is white, is accused of contaminating her black roommate's belongings at the University of Hartford.
Brochu was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief and breach of peace.
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Prosecutors said they're determining whether to add a hate crime charge, but those charges were not added during the arraignment Tuesday.
Brochu's attorney Tom Stevens said he's doubtful his client will be charged with a hate crime.
"I think that when it’s all said and done, what you’re going to see is that there was nothing racial that motivated this," Stevens said.
Police say Brochu wrote on Instagram about rubbing used tampons on her roommate's backpack and putting her roommate's toothbrush "where the sun doesn't shine." Her roommate, Chennel "Jazzy" Rowe, said she developed severe throat pain.
Officials say Brochu no longer attends the university. In a statement to the university community, University of Hartford's president called the incident "deeply upsetting" said it has brought about "accusations of racism."
Members of the NAACP rallied outside superior court Tuesday before Brochu's court appearance, demanding that justice be served by charging Brochu with a hate crime.
"Just to charge her with a couple of misdemeanor charges is not sufficient. I think it should be elevated more serious," said Abdul Shahid Muhammad Ansari, president of the Hartford NAACP.
The Connecticut NAACP is calling what Brochu is accused of doing to her roommate more than bullying, mischief or breach of peace. They say Brochu caused physical harm and intimidation based on her race and the color of her skin.
The university is starting a student NAACP chapter in the wake of the incident.
Brochu told the Republican-American newspaper that she acted foolishly, but she is not a bigot.