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Ex-student charged with harassing roommate seeks accelerated rehabilitation

  • Brianna Brochu, accused of contaminating her black roommate's belongings at the University of Hartford, addresses the court during a hearing, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in Hartford, Conn. She has applied for accelerated rehabilitation. PHOTo/HARTFORD COURANT



The Hartford Courant
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. — Brianna Brochu, the former University of Hartford student accused of harassing her roommate by smearing bodily fluid on the roommate’s backpack and tampering with other items, applied for accelerated rehabilitation Tuesday.

A hearing will be held March 12 on the application. If accelerated rehabilitation is granted, the charges against Brochu would be dismissed if she follows the conditions set by the court.

Brochu, a Harwinton resident who was expelled from the university after her alleged harassment of her roommate came to light, was charged by West Hartford police with breach of peace and criminal mischief. She has pleaded not guilty.

Brochu, who is white, told police that she did not have a good relationship with her roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, who is black. Brochu claimed Rowe was rude to her and posted videos online of her snoring to make fun of her.

The NAACP and others have publicly supported Rowe and have urged Hartford prosecutors to file a hate crime charge against Brochu, but prosecutors have declined to discuss the matter other than to say their decisions are guided by the evidence and the law. Members of the NAACP attended Brochu’s brief court appearance Tuesday.

Attorney Thomas Stevens, representing Brochu, has told The Hartford Courant he does not believe a hate crime charge will be added.

Brochu told police she lashed out at Rowe and said she licked her plate, fork and spoon, put blood from a used tampon on her backpack, and mixed her lotions with other lotions from Rowe’s desk.

Rowe told police that Brochu “generally ignored her and treated her as a ghost,” according to the warrant for Brochu’s arrest. She had asked for a room change and was moving her belongings out of the room on Oct. 17 when Brochu’s Instagram post describing her alleged conduct surfaced.