Man accused of brutally attacking, sexually assaulting UW student pleads not guilty

Posted at 9:44 AM, Oct 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-18 10:44:31-04

MADISON — A UW-Milwaukee graduate charged with brutally attacking a UW-Madison student as the semester began has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Brandon Thompson, 26, appeared in Dane County court on Tuesday where not-guilty pleas were entered, according to our partners at WISC. Thompson is facing several felony charges including first-degree sexual assault/great bodily harm, first-degree reckless injury, and strangulation and suffocation.

According to a criminal complaint, on Sept. 3 around 3 a.m. Madison police were dispatched to a home in the 500 block of West Wilson Street. There the officers found a woman naked and severely beaten. The victim is referred to in the complaint as "Jane Doe."

A responding officer described the scene as "one of the most horrifying things I've seen." Officers reported she was covered in blood and her face was purple, bruised, and swollen. The victim was not able to communicate with the officers.

The victim was brought to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Her injuries include missing teeth, both eyes swollen shut, and her body covered in blood. She had a broken jaw and needed eight stitches to her lip. She also had injuries consistent with penetrating vaginal trauma.

The victim was on a feeding tube and was unable to provide a statement as she showed extreme signs of confusion when awake. Right after the attack, she was put in a medically induced coma.

Police say a man named Brandon originally alerted a witness to call 911 regarding the beaten woman. Authorities later identified the man as the defendant.

Witnesses reported Thompson had blood on his hands.

During his interview with police, Thompson said he was mad and "wanted to hit something." He said he encountered a woman and "saw red" and "didn't know what was going on."

According to the complaint: "Thompson stated the next thing he remembered was the female on the ground in front of him. During the interview Thompson stated, "She came across a monster." When Detectives asked Thompson if he sexually assaulted Jane Doe, Thompson stated, "I don't remember sexually assaulting her." Then he also stated, "I went into a rage, when I came to, she was on the ground." Thompson stated, "The only thing I remember is just hitting." When questioned further about the sexual assault Thompson said something like, "I don't remember it during the actual assault, I just kind of zoned out during the rage." Detective Meredith and Grann asked Thompson if he could have sexually assaulted Jane Doe and he stated, "I could have."

Tests done at the Wisconsin State Crime Lab found Thompson's semen below the waist of the victim.

According to the complaint: "Analyst Scott stated that the single source of male DNA obtained from each of those swabs is consistent with the profile of Brandon Thompson, them defendant, with a probability of one in one quadrillion. Analyst Scott stated one in one quadrillion is the highest probability that the Wisconsin State Crime Lab will identify."

Thompson's cash bail was previously set at $1 million. He returns to court on Dec. 1 for a pre-trial conference.