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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Former Vandy Player Gets 17 Years Behind Bars

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CN) — Former Vanderbilt University football player Brandon Vandenburg was sentenced Friday to 17 years in prison for the rape of an unconscious female student in his dorm room.

Vandenburg, 23, was convicted in June after a retrial. His previous convictions in the case, along with those of co-defendant Cory Batey, were set aside when Judge Monte Watkins declared a mistrial last year, after finding that a juror failed to disclose that he was the key witness and named victim in an unrelated statutory-rape case.

Vandenburg and Batey, as well as two others yet to face trial, were accused of raping a female Vanderbilt student in Vandenburg's Gillette House dorm room in the early morning hours of June 23, 2013. All four men were kicked off the Vanderbilt Commodores football team after the allegations.

Prosecutors told jurors that Vandenburg 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.

At the end of his retrial, Vandenburg was found guilty of all five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, and one count of unlawful photography.

Vandenburg said at Friday's hearing that he was ashamed of what happened and asked for mercy.

Judge Watkins handed down the 17-year sentence, which is just above the minimum of 15 years the former football player was facing.

Batey was convicted in April following his retrial, and was sentenced to 15 years in July.

The 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.

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