Nationals

Ala. man gets 2 years in jail for viral BCS video

Ala. man gets 2 years in jail for viral BCS video

NEW ORLEANS (AP) An Alabama man on Thursday began serving a two-year prison sentence for an obscene act against an unconscious LSU fan in a Bourbon Street restaurant after the BCS national title game in January, a videotaped incident that went viral on the Internet.

Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Karen Herman chastised Brian H. Downing, of Smiths Station, Ala., before she formally sentenced him to the terms of a plea deal with New Orleans prosecutors.

Herman called him a bully who has permanently damaged someone's life.

``You have put aside someone's dignity,'' she said. ``(He) didn't have the option to say, `No,' and tell you to stop.''

Downing declined to say anything before he was sentenced and taken into custody at the conclusion of the hearing.

He pleaded guilty in October to two counts of obscenity. Prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of sexual battery, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Downing may be eligible to serve less than half of his two-year sentence. One of his attorneys has estimated Downing would serve a minimum of nine months.

The judge told Downing he ``chose wisely'' by cutting a plea deal, which also allows him to avoid having to register as a sex offender. The judge recommended that he be allowed to participate in a boot camp program run by prison officials.

The LSU fan, who has sued Downing, didn't attend the sentencing hearing. However, a spokesman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro has said prosecutors consulted with him before agreeing on the plea deal.

The incident took place last January after Alabama defeated LSU at the Superdome to claim the BCS title. A video that went viral on the Internet showed Downing expose his genitals and perform a simulated sex act on the unconscious man at the restaurant in front of a crowd of other Alabama fans.

Quick Links

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

Quick Links

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

faceoffepisode65.png
NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

The Capitals got their trade deadline started early by trading for defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek. Washington has been struggling of late, but do their new acquisitions address the team's weaknesses?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir evaluate the two trades and talk about where they could fit into the lineup.

You can listen to the latest episode here on the Capitals Faceoff page or with the player below.

Want even more great Capitals coverage? Follow @TarikNBCS and @JJReganNBCS on Twitter!