A former student at the University of Hartford in Connecticut accused of smearing body fluids on her roommate's belongings appeared in court Monday and has pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal mischief and breach of peace, according to The Associated Press.
Civil rights advocates have been waiting to see if hate crime charges will be filed in her case, but prosecutors did not file additional charges Monday against 18-year-old Brianna Brochu, of Harwinton.
Police said the former University of Hartford student, who is white, wrote on Instagram about rubbing used tampons on her black roommate's backpack and putting her roommate's toothbrush "where the sun doesn't shine." The victim said she developed throat pain.
The Connecticut NAACP is calling what Brochu is accused of doing to her roommate more than bullying and mischief or breach of peace, which she was charged with in October. They say Brochu caused physical harm and intimidation based on her race and the color of her skin and have called for hate crime charges.
Prosecutors said they're still investigating.
A group of about a dozen protesters who were again calling for a hate crime charge were gathered outside the courthouse Monday.
“We are very, very disappointed with the prosecutors, the DA’s office of not pressing this case hard enough," said Scot X. Esdaile of the CT NAACP.
Brochu's lawyer, Tom Stevens, has said his client's actions weren't racially motivated and he's doubtful his client will be charged with a hate crime.
Brochu told the Republican-American newspaper that she acted foolishly, but she is not racist.
A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 29.