Prosecutors Accuse Vanderbilt Players of Laughing, Texting During Rape


The rape trial of two former Vanderbilt University football players, Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg, is now underway. In opening statements, prosecutors accused the two of laughing, texting, and making video while raping an unconscious classmate. In a surveillance video of a campus hallway, according to testimony, they can be seen dragging the woman, and then taking photos and video of her.

According to WSMV, Lt. Donnie Harville of the Vanderbilt University Police Department testified Tuesday that the surveillance video of a dormitory hallway shows the girl being carried by Vandenburg, whom she had been dating, from a car outside into the dorm, Gillette House. The jury was then excused for the day, but Deputy District Attorney General Tom Thurman told the jury that the video also shows that the assault began in the hallway. From the Associated Press:

In opening statements, Thurman said they giggled, shot video and sent text messages while they sexually abused her in an assault that began in a hallway. He described in sometimes explicit language how one former player assaulted her with a water bottle while a teammate egged him on. The prosecutor said one of the players passed out condoms and assaulted her.
Thurman said one of the former players urinated on her and made a racial statement. Three of the ex-players are black and one is white. The victim is white.

Both men are charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg is also charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.have claimed in pre-trial hearings that they were too drunk “form an intent” to rape. On Wednesday, according to WSMV, Batey’s attorney said he was “very inebriated” that night and that he “had a blackout,” while Vandenburg’s said, “the evidence is not going to show that he personally did any of it. Zero for seven.”

Vandenburg enters a pre-trial hearing in November. Image via AP

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