Conviction in 2nd Vanderbilt Rape Retrial

     NASHVILLE (CN) — A Tennessee jury on Saturday night convicted former Vanderbilt University football player Brandon Vandenburg for the aggravated rape of an unconscious woman in his dorm room.
     Vandenburg, 23, was found guilty of all five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, and one count of unlawful photography.
     His mother cried after the verdict was read, and Vandenburg appeared to be weeping as he was taken into custody.
     The conviction came at the conclusion of the second of two retrials, after Vandenburg and Cory Batey’s original convictions were thrown out in a mistrial because a juror failed to disclose that he was the key witness and named victim in an unrelated statutory-rape case.
     Batey, 22, and Vandenburg were accused of raping 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.
     Batey’s retrial came first. He was found guilty in April of one count of aggravated rape. Four other counts of aggravated rape were reduced to lesser-included offenses, including attempted aggravated rape, facilitation of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.
     On Saturday, a jury bussed in from Memphis found Vandenburg guilty of all the charges against him.
     “He served her up to three strangers — for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter, is that he did it,” Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman told jurors in closing arguments Saturday.
     Prosecutors told jurors that he passed out condoms to the other players, videoed the rape and sent footage to friends as it was happening.
     Vandenburg’s defense team had maintained that he was drunk and should not be held responsible for what players he didn’t even know did to the woman.
     The jury deliberated just over four hours Saturday before finding Vandenburg guilty.
     Vandenburg and Batey each face a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
     Two others charged in the case, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie and Brandon Banks, have not had their trials scheduled yet. They both agreed to testify for the state but only McKenzie actually did.
     The Associated Press contributed to this report.

%d bloggers like this: