Judge hearing assault on LSU student makes unprecedented ruling, raising questions about conflicts

The Louisiana judge presiding over a high-profile case criminal case Blaming black men accused of raping a white LSU student, he dismissed a 1972 rape conviction, while a year earlier he had released another rape suspect on low bail.

District Judge Gail Horn Ray’s decision, combined with her son’s decision Serial rape conviction And her potential bias as a lifetime member of the NAACP has raised concerns about conflict of interest.

Ray was sworn into office as a judge of the 19th Judicial District Court on January 12, 2023. Three months later, he released De’Aundre Cox, who Rape allegation He attacked his teenage neighbor without informing the victim or notifying the District Attorney’s Office.

This month, he tossed out the 1972 aggravated rape conviction of Donald Ray Link, which Link’s attorneys had not even requested.

‘Laughing’ suspect in alleged rape of LSU student records attack: ‘They’re gonna rape her’

madison-brooks

Madison Brooks, 19, was a sophomore at LSU when she was allegedly raped in January 2023, then hit by a car.

Link, who was serving a life sentence, appeared before Judge Ray last month to request eligibility for parole.

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Instead, he threw out the 50-year-old conviction because the jury was given “improper instructions” during the trial, which he called “a big mistake,” WAFB reported based on court documents.

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The unprecedented, unplanned decision bypassed the parole process and once again set up a confrontation between the judge and East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III, who had objected to Cox’s bail being reduced last April.

Moore argued that the judge had limited evidence available to determine whether Link should be granted parole, and said that defense had been presented as early as the 1990s and was rejected, WAFB reported.

Judge Gail Horn RayJudge Gail Horn Ray

Judge Gail Horn Ray, hearing the rape case involving LSU sophomore Madison Brooks, made the unexpected, unprecedented decision to throw out the 1972 rape conviction during a hearing on the defendant’s request for parole eligibility.

WATCH: Madison Brooks would have been 21 – Mom’s tribute video:

“Ultimately, the trial court relies on its ‘inherent authority’ to reach its decision,” DA Moore wrote in his court filing, according to WBRZ. “The fact is that the trial court does not have inherent authority to ignore proper legal procedures and consider whatever it wants, whenever it wants.”

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The Louisiana Supreme Court issued a stay order on the dispute, preventing any action until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.

D.A. Moore III and Judge Ray did not return multiple calls and emails from Fox News Digital seeking comment.

Judge Ray was asked specific questions, including whether she felt her decision-making ability might be affected or whether she was considering recusing herself from the case.

Desmond CarterDesmond Carter

Desmond Carter, 17, is being tried as an adult in the alleged rape of LSU sophomore Madison Brooks.

The judge and East Baton Rouge’s D.A. are the presiding judge and lead prosecutor, respectively, in the alleged rape case of 19-year-old LSU sophomore Madison Brooks, which drew national attention last year.

The four suspects — Kavon Washington, Everett Lee, Keson Carver and Desmond Carter — allegedly raped her in their car after drinking at a bar in Tigerland, LSU’s social center, which is notorious for crime, poor lighting and a lack of sidewalks.

LSU stunned by alleged rape and death of Madison Brooks, crime remains rampant in college town

Following the alleged attack in their car, the suspects reportedly abandoned Brooks, who was staggering and intoxicated, on the side of a busy four-lane highway in the middle of the night.

He was hit by a car and died, despite the efforts of two good Samaritans to help him.

Madison Brooks' heroes standing together and posing for a photoMadison Brooks' heroes standing together and posing for a photo

Katherine Devillier and Beau Adams in Baton Rouge on May 16, 2023. The 21-year-old roommates are credited with prolonging the final moments of Madison Brooks’ life after she was hit by a car.

Madison Brooks' hero gets angel wings tattooed on his armsMadison Brooks' hero gets angel wings tattooed on his arms

Close-up of the tattoos on Katherine Devillier and Beau Adam’s arms. The matching tattoos honor Madison Brooks, whose life the 21-year-old roommates credit with prolonging after they were hit by a car.

Lawyers for the suspects, some of them civil rights attorneys, claimed there was racist overtones in the prosecution’s furious effort to bring high-level charges against black men accused of raping a woman after a public outcry.

The case became a public spectacle within a few weeks of Brooks’s death, when Rescue leaked Several seconds-long fragments of video footage that appeared to misidentify Brooks were released.

Exclusive: LSU students did everything they could to save Madison Brooks

A few months later, a defense attorney said that Brooks’ post-mortem report leakedWhich included disturbing, intimate details of the alleged rape.

As the issue of race enters the public debate, it is notable that Judge Ray is a Silver Life Member of the NAACP and has received the Justice for Youth Award from the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana and the President’s Award from the Baton Rouge NAACP.

madison-brooks-cheerleadermadison-brooks-cheerleader

Madison Brooks, a 19-year-old sophomore at LSU, was allegedly raped in January before she was hit by a car.

Ashley Baustert, mother of Madison Brooks, stands in front of a billboard for the Madison Brooks FoundationAshley Baustert, mother of Madison Brooks, stands in front of a billboard for the Madison Brooks Foundation

Ashley Baustert, mother of Madison Brooks, stands in front of a Madison Brooks Foundation billboard in Times Square on May 8, 2023.

She was also her son’s attorney when he pleaded guilty to multiple rapes between November 1995 and April 1996.

Exclusive: LSU death: Madison Brooks’ last message to mother, who knew ‘something terrible had happened’

All of this could, at the very least, tarnish an already controversial criminal case and cause resentment among Brooks’ family.

The family’s attorney has declined to comment at this time as the family awaits a ruling from the state Supreme Court on the link case.

Updated photo by LSU student Madison BrooksUpdated photo by LSU student Madison Brooks

LSU student Madison Brooks, who was hit by a car after an alleged rape, leading to her death.

All of the suspects arrested and charged in the Brooks attack have pleaded not guilty and pleaded not guilty.

His attorneys have argued the sex was consensual and even said it wouldn’t even be a criminal case if Brooks hadn’t died.

Joe Long, one of the suspects’ attorneys, told Fox News Digital earlier this week that the case is “moving slowly … mainly because the prosecution is challenging the defense’s access to evidence at every turn.”

Carver and Carter are scheduled to appear in court on July 2, which will be closed to the public due to the sensitive nature of the case, Long said.

During the court appearance, Long is expected to get access to Brooks’ phone data.

“After this hearing, the defense expects to examine the blood alcohol data and challenge the blood alcohol content at the time of the alleged sexual contact,” Long said.

Prosecutors said his blood alcohol level was .319%, which the defense intends to challenge. The legal limit for drivers in Louisiana is .08%.

“Under Louisiana (law), the state would have to prove that MB (Madison Brooks) could not legally consent to sex because of her alcohol intoxication. Stupor is a medical term,” Long said.

“We look forward to litigating this issue in the fall. We urge the public to be patient and not to pass judgment, as we are under a protective order and cannot share the information we have until trial.”

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