An Alabama fan pleaded guilty Tuesday to obscenity charges after he was accused of sexually
assaulting an unconscious LSU fan after the BCS National Championship game in January.
Brian Downing, 33, of Smiths Station, Ala., opted for a plea deal on the morning of his trial
rather than face charges of sexual battery.
The obscenity charges carries a potential two-year prison term while sexual battery is punishable by up to 10 years.
Prosecutors dropped the battery charge against Downing and said he pleaded guilty to two counts of obscenity. Sentencing is set for Nov. 29.
Downing was arrested after a video was posted on the internet that showed the alleged act on an unconscious LSU fan at a Bourbon Street restaurant. The clip showed Downing rubbing his exposed genitals on the neck of the passed-out man after the championship game won the Crimson Tide.
The victim sued Downing for "mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety and depression ... damage to reputation" and for lost tuition payments after he dropped out of school.
Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for the District Attorney's office, said the victim agreed to the plea deal. Bowman called it "the most just outcome."
"When you put your genitals on someone's body, someone who is passed out, that's not a prank," Bowman said. "I don't think people would be asking that question if the defendant had done it to a passed-out woman."
Reports indicated that Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Karen Herman would sentence Downing to two years in prison and recommend that he enroll n a boot camp program run by prison officials.
Downing will not have to register as a sex offender, which one of his attorneys said played a role in accepting the plea deal.
Downing didn't answer questions after the hearing.