Vanderbilt players convicted of rape

Former Vanderbilt football stars and convicted rapists Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey appear emotionless in mugshots taken immediately after a jury found them guilty on multiple charges Tuesday afternoon.

The boys had been out on bail, but will now stay behind bars until they are sentenced on march 6.

Batey’s attorney Fletcher Long has other plans however, saying he will likely be appealing the conviction of his client as the state failed to prepare a proper indictment.

Long told this to CNN, and said a decision would be made before sentencing on how his team would proceed.

This after a jury in Nashville, Tennessee found Vandenburg, 21, and Batey, who turned 21 on Tuesday, guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.

The decision took just three hours, and now both men face at least 15 years in prison without the possibility of parole and up to 60 years behind bars, with sentencing set for March 6.

Batey was found guilty of four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of attempted aggravated rape.

Vandenburg was found guilty of four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, and one count each of attempted aggravated rape, unlawful photography, and tampering with evidence.

Batey sat emotionless as the jury read their verdict, while Vandenburg shook his head and rolled his eyes, in compete disbelief over the jury’s decision.

A statement from the victim was read afterwards to the courtroom, in which she said; ‘Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this difficult process. I’m thankful that the criminal justice system will hold the defendants responsible for their violent crimes.

‘I am also hopeful that the publicity this case has received will lead to a discussion of how we can end sexual violence on college campuses. Finally, I want to remind other victims of sexual violence: You are not alone. You are not to blame.’

Vanderbilt released a statement as well in which Vice Chancellor Beth Fortune said; ‘Our heart goes out to the victim. Her testimony was forceful and brave. She has received our care and support.’

She then added; ‘The safety and security of our students is Vanderbilt’s top priority. Sexual violence will never be tolerated. Incidents will be investigated, victims will be supported, and perpetrators will be punished.’

Both men were immediately taken in following the verdict to await sentencing.

Aggravated rape is punishable by 15 to 80 years in jail, while aggravated sexual battery is punishable by 8 to 30 years in jail.

Vandenburg also faces up to 6 years for the unlawful photography charge and 15 years for tampering with evidence.

‘I think we did the best we could. I think we shined a light on a national problem. There’s several tragedies in this case,’ said Batey’s attorney Worrick Robinson following the verdict.

Meanwhile, Albert Perez Jr., Vandenburg’s attorney, held back tears as he explained his client’s behavior during the verdict, saying; ‘It’s very difficult for a person who is young to understand what happened because he asked me, “What happened?” He didn’t understand.’

‘Sexual violence against women is wrong,’ said Davidson County District Attorney General Glenn Funk as he addressed the media.

‘Don’t blame the culture. Don’t blame alcohol. Don’t blame the victim. Sexual violence is a crime and it will be prosecuted.’

Vandenburg’s father could be heard crying out as the guilty charges were read against his son according to WSMV.

The victim was also in the courtroom for the verdict, and began crying as the two men were declared guilty on all counts.

Last week, the victim testified that Vandenburg, whom she was dating, plied her with alcohol one night in June 2013 and the next thing she remembers is waking up in a strange dorm room.

The jury saw surveillance footage showing her being dragged to Vandenburg’s dorm room.

Inside the room, Vandenburg switched on porn and encouraged Batey and two others to assault the woman with a water bottle and rape her, prosecutors said.

The jury was shown graphic cell phone footage of part of the sexual attack, which the men had recorded. Vandenburg then sent some footage to friends.

One of the men, Brandon Banks, allegedly anally raped the woman with the water bottle as Vandenburg said, ‘squeeze that s***’, the video showed. Batey then allegedly urinated on her.

‘It wasn’t just about sexual gratification and fun, it was about degrading her, humiliating her,’ Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman said in his closing arguments on Tuesday.

The woman was then ‘thrown in the hall like a piece of trash by the man she trusted, Brandon Vandenburg,’ Thurman said.

‘She’s not a piece of trash,’ he continued. ‘She’s a victim. Not an alleged victim. A victim. A victim that had the courage to take that stand and face her attackers. A victim that had the courage to come in here and fight for justice.’

The woman testified last week that she could not remember any of the attack.

Throughout the trial, the defense had argued that the men had become swept up in a promiscuous college culture, where people walked around naked and binged on alcohol.

Source: The DailyMail

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