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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Closing Arguments Begin in Vandy Rape Trial

NASHVILLE (CN) - Prosecutors in the trial for two former college football players say photo and video evidence shows they participated in a rape, while one defense attorney told jurors his client was too drunk to form intent.

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey stood trial the past two weeks for the alleged rape of an unconscious female student in the early morning hours of June 23, 2013. The events in question occurred in Vandenburg's Gillett House dorm room and also involved two other former football players.

Vandenburg and Batey are each charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg is also charged with one count of unlawful photography for allegedly taking pictures and video.

Batey took the witness stand Monday morning in his own defense. He apologized while appearing to look in the direction of the alleged victim.

"I'm just sorry. I never intended on hurting anyone. I was extremely intoxicated," Batey said. "I was just drunk out of my mind."

He talked about how much he drank that night, and said doesn't remember anything that happened in room 213 of Gillett House.

"I must have blacked out. I have no recollection," Batey said.

Batey said he accepts responsibilities for his actions depicted on graphic video shown to jurors, but when pressed by prosecutor Roger Moore he declined to change his not guilty plea.

Closing arguments took place late Monday afternoon. Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman asked the jury to return a guilty verdict for all counts because Vandenburg and Batey knew what they were doing.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that the only person that was unconscious and was unaware of what was going on was [the alleged victim]," Norman told jurors. "She had no idea what they did to her."

Norman said Vandenburg was directing the alleged rape and was seen on video laughing at numerous times throughout the night. She also told jurors that Batey was not blacked out, as he claims. Instead, he was able to shower and get dressed without a problem after the alleged rape, Norman told the jury.

Worrick Robinson, Batey's counsel, echoed his opening arguments by saying his client was exposed to a culture of drinking and promiscuity. He compared the prosecution team to used car salesmen trying to sell the jury an incomplete story.

"That's not justice. That is not justice," Robinson said. "That's the used car salespeople trying to sell you a used car without telling you everything that's under the hood or everything they know about the car."

He told jurors his client didn't act intentionally or knowingly.

"This was not a grand plan. There was no scheme. This was the perfect storm in the worst possible way," Robinson said.

Judge Monte Watkins said closing arguments will conclude Tuesday morning and the jury will get its instructions then.

Batey's 21st birthday is Tuesday, according to court records. A verdict may be delivered Tuesday afternoon.

Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie and Brandon Banks are also charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery in the case. Their trials have not yet been scheduled. McKenzie testified last week for the state, accusing Vandenburg of being the ringleader.

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