The Slatest

Two Former Vanderbilt Football Players Convicted of Rape

Vanderbilt campus.


A Nashville jury on Tuesday convicted two former Vanderbilt football players of raping a fellow student in 2013. After weeks of testimony the jury took three hours to deliver a guilty verdict, rejecting the argument, as the Associated Press puts it, “[the players] were too drunk to know what they were doing and that a college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex should be blamed for the attack.”

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey could face decades in prison when they are sentenced in March. The details in the court testimony describing the night when the rape of the then-21-year-old neuroscience and economics major occurred are gruesome. The victim said she didn’t remember what happened, just that she woke up in a strange room the next day. Here’s more from the AP:

[The jury] saw cellphone images from the night of the attack that Vandenburg sent to his friends as it was happening. Despite the photos and the video, and although witnesses saw the woman unconscious and at least partially naked in the dorm, no one reported the attack. Vandenburg and Batey were on trial together, but represented by different attorneys. Attorneys for Vandenburg, who had been seeing the woman, said he did not assault her. Testimony showed Vandenburg passed out condoms to the other players, slapped her buttocks and said he couldn’t have sex with the woman because he was high on cocaine. Batey raped the woman and urinated on her, prosecutors said. His attorneys argued the images didn’t show that.

“Rumors about what happened quickly spread around campus, and the assault might have gone unnoticed had the university not stumbled onto the closed-circuit TV images several days later in an unrelated attempt to learn who damaged a dormitory door,” the AP reports. “The images showed players carrying an unconscious woman into an elevator and down a hallway, taking compromising pictures of her and then dragging her into the room. School authorities contacted police, who found the digital trail of images.”

Two other former players who are also accused of raping the woman are awaiting trial.