An Alabama man turned himself into New Orleans police on Thursday for sexual battery charges stemming from a teabagging incident after the BCS Championship game on Bourbon Street.
Brian Downing, 32, was booked on charges of sexual battery and obscenity, according to the Associated Press. Downing allegedly placed his genitals on a passed out LSU fan's face at the Krystal restaurant in New Orleans in the aftermath of Alabama's national championship win.
The vile act was caught on tape and put on an Alabama fan Web site, which set off a wide search for the perpetrator. Eventually Downing was tracked down as the suspect in the video and was encouraged by his family to turn himself into the police once the video went viral.
The AP reported that Downing's second cousin, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor, guided him in the process of turning himself in. Taylor contacted New Orleans police on whether they wanted Downing to turn himself in New Orleans, which he eventually did, or to be jailed and extradited from Alabama.
Taylor admitted to the AP that it was difficult to arrest his second cousin, but that I wasn't going to let anybody say that because he's my family I wasn't doing anything about it.
Downing has already been fired from his job as a manager at a Hibbett Sports store and now faces a minimum 25 years behind bars if convicted of the crime. The reason why he faces such a long prison sentence, according to Outkick the Coverage's Clay Travis, is that the victim was clearly incapacitated in the video.
Due to the LSU fan's clear incapacitation -- he was passed out, face down for the duration of the video -- Downing could be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than twenty-five years nor more than ninety-nine years, according to New Orleans sexual battery statutes.
The alleged suspect will likely try to reach a plea agreement to avoid such a long sentence, but it's clear that this situation has evolved from a disgusting prank to an extremely serious criminal situation. Downing has now lost his career and potentially his freedom for a long time because of a frat house prank that went way too far.
The International Business Times has placed calls with the New Orleans police department and Downing's family, but did not immediately hear back.