Two Vanderbilt football players guilty of rape
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Nashville jury has found two former Vanderbilt football players guilty for raping a woman in a dorm room.
Corey Batey and Brandon Vandenburg were found guilty on all counts.
Both were convicted of aggravated rape, attempted aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.
Vandenburg was found guilty of tampering with evidence and unlawful photography.
The aggravated rape conviction carries a sentence of 15-25 years without parole. Aggravated sexual battery carries a sentence of 8-12 years without parole.
Prosecutors say Vandenburg encouraged three of his teammates to have sex with the unconscious 21-year-old woman in June 2013 and didn’t participate because he couldn’t perform.
Batey testified Monday that he was so drunk he didn’t remember what happened that night in Vandenburg’s dorm room until he later saw cellphone images on his phone.
“I was just drunk out of my mind,” Batey said. “This is something I would never do in my right state of mind. I’m just sorry.”
The woman, who earlier testified that she didn’t remember anything that night, was crying as Batey was on the stand and appeared to be vomiting at one point.
Two other players are also accused in the rape and have pleaded not guilty. Their trial dates have not been set.
Vandenburg and Batey were on trial together, but represented by different attorneys.
Batey’s defense said the photos and videos don’t actually show him having sex with the woman and one of his lawyers blamed a college culture so accepting of binge drinking that many people saw the unconscious woman that night but did nothing to help.
The woman testified that Vandenburg plied her with alcohol at a Nashville night spot and the last thing she remembers is waking up alone in a strange dorm room and feeling sick.
She said she still has no memory of what happened.
Police officers who testified said they didn’t find evidence of body fluids on the dorm room floor that would indicate a sexual assault, but they did not go to the dorm room until four days later.
Throughout the trial, jurors have seen graphic images and videos recovered from cellphones and a laptop.
Prosecutors said that players took pictures of the assault and that one sent videos to his friends as it was happening.
Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, who is also charged, testified that Vandenburg was “amped” and coaching the players.
McKenzie testified that he did not touch the woman himself but took pictures.