Green Room

If it happens to a male sports fan, is it really sexual battery? UPDATED: Teabagger identified

posted at 6:14 pm on January 18, 2012 by

In the drunken revelry after the BCS game last week, an Alabama fan teabagged an unconscious LSU fan.  In case anyone was wondering whether these drunks were also stupid, proof was provided in the form of recording the crime and uploading this NSFW video of it to Youtube.  None of this, unfortunately, is particularly shocking. Stupid, drunk sports fans frequently act like idiots.

Neither of the two people in the video who have been identified - Patrick Setterstrom and Ellen Cassin – have come forward to tell their sides of the story. In the video, Setterstrom, whose father is the sports director at Alabama’s TV station WKRG, began to unzip and approach the victim. Fortunately for him, Cassin was sober and/or intelligent enough to stop him. A few moments later, another Alabama fan did expose his genitals and rub them on the victim’s face.

What is shocking is the New Orleans Police Department’s initial reluctance to investigate.  They initially said that they could do nothing unless the victim came forward, which is perplexing given that it is the state, not the victim, who brings charges against the perpetrator.  They don’t need the victim’s consent.

A lot of people’s attitudes seem to be that this was just a case of drunkenness and team rivalry gone too far. Let’s test that theory with a little thought experiment. Imagine that this was a girl who drank herself stupid. Let’s imagine that she was touched, her breasts were fondled, and that a man rubbed his genitals on her while she was unconscious.  Can anyone imagine the NOPD – or any police department, anywhere – dragging their heels on investigating unless she came forward?  MacAoidh at the Louisiana blog, The Hayride, also disputes that notion:

And shame on the NOPD for trying to dodge this thing. It’s an assault not just on the victim but on public decency in New Orleans – and make whatever jokes you want about Mardi Gras, even at Mardi Gras you’re not allowed to dry-hump an incapacitated total stranger who would probably not consent if he wasn’t comatose with your junk out for everybody to see. And because of that, law enforcement has the OBLIGATION to do something about it.

This isn’t Gumps Gone Wild. It’s sexual battery. You can get 10 years for that, and it’s not acceptable for the cops not to ID this perp and bring his ass in for trial.

While the victim has so far not come forward, there has been enough pressure by the New Orleans DA’s office and an outraged public for the NOPD to finally decide to investigate.  As Dr. Helen comments,

Given the way that our society laughs and mocks men who are abused in this way, I can understand the guy not coming forward, but he must. It is only when individual men start to say “No, this is not justice for all” and endure the ridicule that men everywhere will no longer have to endure their rights and bodies being violated in this absurd manner without consequence.

Exactly.

UPDATE: It turns out this is not a college prank in any sense of the word. Brian Downing, the man Deadspin identified as the teabagger is in his 30s, married, with a child.  And at the moment he is on his way – with his attorney – to New Orleans to have a little chat with the NOPD. I’m sorry for his family, but I’m glad that it’s looking like there will be some consequences for his behavior.  And what little amusement there is in this whole train wreck can be found in the fact that the tips identifying Downing apparently originated on an Auburn message board.

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Short answer: Yes, it is assault.

Couldn’t help but take the argument to another level…what if it were a drunken PSU football coach?

Bad taste all around. No pun intended.

This is all a result of reality TV. And Obama. I would provide the details, but it’s been a long day.

Hueydriver on January 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM

In New Orleans, yes, I can imagine the police trying to paper it over … at least until it goes national.

njcommuter on January 18, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Reason #4 I never want to visit New Orleans.

SouthernGent on January 18, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Reason #1million to never get so drunk you pass out.

AnotherOpinion on January 18, 2012 at 9:09 PM

SouthernGent on January 18, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Wow, if this is only #4 I’m kind of afraid to ask what #1-3 are.

Laura Curtis on January 18, 2012 at 9:25 PM

This could be the date rape drug and the victim has no recollection.

dunce on January 18, 2012 at 9:34 PM

It’s sexual battery, regardless.

That said, I hate sports fans. It’s hard to feel pity for an idiot who gets drunk and passes out in public. I consider him only slightly less of a f**ktard than the a*shole teabagging him. They’re all obnoxious embarrassments to the human race.

Hell, I just hate people in general.

MadisonConservative on January 18, 2012 at 11:27 PM

What’s with the guy shaking his thing on another guy’s face? I understand if it Barney Frank but what straight guy when he sees a drunk guy decides to whip it out and get a freebie?

Smedley on January 19, 2012 at 1:37 AM

How about just letting the the poor sap who was drunk and defenseless just have 2 minutes alone with this guy and a baseball bat?

avgjo on January 19, 2012 at 3:25 AM

Hell, I just hate people in general.

Me too. I often get teased because I don’t drink. Well, I never find myself in situations like that poor dumb idiot.

It’s a shame no one had the guts to tell Mr. Teabagger to put them away and quit acting like a douche.

Ellen on January 19, 2012 at 6:11 AM

How about just letting the the poor sap who was drunk and defenseless just have 2 minutes alone with this guy and a baseball bat?

avgjo on January 19, 2012 at 3:25 AM

Better yet, a pair of hedge clippers.

DRayRaven on January 19, 2012 at 7:57 AM

“This is just guy’s having fun and should be taught in school” -Kevin Jennings

MechanicalBill on January 19, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Hell, I just hate people in general.

MadisonConservative on January 18, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Sadly, I’m heading that way myself.

Fallon on January 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM

What’s with the guy shaking his thing on another guy’s face? I understand if it Barney Frank but what straight guy when he sees a drunk guy decides to whip it out and get a freebie?

Smedley on January 19, 2012 at 1:37 AM

The kind who is not entirely a straight guy inside. Yes, Mr. Downing, it’s time to own that part of your inner self. Maybe a stint in jail will help you bring it out.

OneFreeMan on January 20, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Thank you, Laura Curtis, for pointing this case out to us, and you’re absolutely right: it is a crime to do this to any incapacitated person, child or adult, male or female. The encouraging thing to take away from this is that people are starting to take rape/domestic abuse/sexual assault/sexual harassment/statutory rape against a male victim much more seriously than they did before, whether the perpetrator is male or female.

bmmg39 on January 20, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Test.

MTLassen on January 20, 2012 at 3:07 PM

As a man who’s lived in and around New Orleans for 54 years I can tell you its never New Orleans that’s the issue, its the idiots who have no control that are. If you have none, stay away.

itsspideyman on January 20, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Low class? Yes.

YouTube? Stupid

Sexual assault? Please……

Get over yourselves.

mojotrain on January 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Low class? Yes.

YouTube? Stupid

Sexual assault? Please……

Get over yourselves.

Sexual Battery

There isn’t a state in the union that doesn’t have a law on the books making it illegal to put your genitals on another person without their consent. What this guy did is a felony that would impose at the minimum a requirement to register as a sex offender. The fact it was recorded, his face is as clear as day, and the condition of the LSU fan- this is a ground ball. The DA’s office doesn’t even need a complainant in this situation.

McNinja on January 22, 2012 at 2:25 AM

Felony? Please…….

You people live sheltered lives.

mojotrain on January 22, 2012 at 3:10 AM

Any habits of yours you’d like to share with us at this time, Mojo?

If someone had “bagged” your mother while she was asleep in an airport, would you just dismiss it as “low class”?

bmmg39 on January 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM