Two former Vanderbilt University football players have been found guilty of sexual assault.
Guilty of Sexual Assault
A jury in Nashville has found Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey guilty of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old female classmate in a Vanderbilt campus dorm room in 2013. The woman was a former neuroscience major and dance team member at the university. Allegedly she was drunk and had passed out during the incident.
They were charged with four counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Additionally, Vandenburg was found guilty of tampering with evidence and unlawful photography. The prosecution alleged he not only recorded the sexual assault on his phone, but also shared it with his friends.
The two will be sentenced on March 6.
Two Others Accused
Two other ex-players have been accused of being involved in the incident: Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie. They are also facing charges of rape and sexual battery, but like Vandenburg and Batey, have pleaded not guilty. They have not yet gone to trial.
Admittance and Apologies
Batey admitted he was the one in the cell phone video, but also testified he was to drunk to remember the incident. He also expressed remorse from the stand, saying to the victim, “I’m just sorry. I never intended on hurting anyone.”
After finding the graphic photos on his phone the night after the incident he said, “I was horrified. I didn’t know they got there. I didn’t remember. I didn’t know what had happened to the young lady in the pictures and I deleted them immediately.”
The players’ defense team argued Vandenburg and Batey were not guilty of rape, but that they had been put in this situation because of the college’s culture of sexual promiscuity, alcohol, and the role of popular culture. College culture has been in the headlines recently as the result of national debate over the prevalence of rapes on campuses and how quickly (or not quickly) they are reported to the police. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, roughly 97,000 students fall victim to alcohol-related sexual assault or date-rape each year.
School authorities at Vanderbilt immediately reported the situation to authorities.
Source: ABC News, Vanderbilt Rape Trial: Ex-Football Players Found Guilty, January 27, 2015
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