Former Vanderbilt football player found
guilty of rape
Send a link to a friend
[June 24, 2017]
By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - A Tennessee
jury on Friday found a former Vanderbilt University football player
guilty of raping an unconscious female student in a teammate's dormitory
room in 2013.
The Nashville jury found Brandon Banks, 23, guilty of aggravated rape
and aggravated sexual battery after deliberating for about 15 hours over
two days. The case stoked simmering concern about sexual assault on
college campuses by athletes.
Banks faces at least 15 years in prison, Assistant District Attorney
Roger Moore told media. Sentencing will be Aug. 18.
"We are very satisfied with their verdict," Moore said.
Defense attorney Mark Scruggs did not respond to a request to comment.
He was quoted by The Tennessean newspaper as saying that Banks was
"shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this
process. There's a lot more to do from here on."
Teammates Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, two of the four former
Vanderbilt football players charged in the case along with Banks, were
found guilty when tried together in January 2015 but a mistrial was
Batey was later retried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Vandenburg was found guilty in June 2016 and sentenced to 17 years in
[to top of second column]
A fourth player, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, who testified against his
three teammates, has yet to stand trial in the case.
The players used cell phones to record their crimes, and those
videos - shown to the jurors in all the trials – played crucial
roles in the prosecution’s case.
Vandenburg and the victim, who had been dating, met for drinks at a
bar popular with Vanderbilt students. Both had been drinking prior
to meeting, according to testimony.
Vandenburg tried to take the victim, who was unconscious, to her
apartment, but could not get in. He then took her back to his
dormitory, where the other three men charged in the case helped cart
her to his room, which was the site of the attacks, prosecutors
The victim, who has not been named, testified against all three men
for their roles in the rapes.
Banks testified in his own defense and said he was intimidated by
the other players and participated because he was scared of
retribution that night and later on the football field.
(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.