Brandon Vandenburg guilty in Vanderbilt rape of unconscious girlfriend. Court finds elite student criminally liable in orchestrating sexual abuse of woman he was dating for two weeks.
In less than four hours of deliberation, a Nashville jury, Saturday evening, found Brandon Vandenburg guilty on all criminal charges against him for his role of facilitating/encouraging and filming the raping an unconscious 21 year old woman three years ago.
The former student now faces the potential of a 25 year prison sentence after being found guilty of multiple counts of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.
The football player was also convicted of one count of unlawful photography.
The verdict comes after Vandenburg and his former teammate Cory Batey were convicted last year, only to have the verdicts thrown out after it was revealed that a juror had not disclosed that he had been a victim of statutory rape.
Vandenburg’s fate was likely sealed when co defendant, Jaborian (Tip) McKenzie wrapped up his testimony describing the 23-year-old as the appalling assault’s ringleader, according to WKRN-TV.
McKenzie said Vandenburg ‘made sure he was in control’ of the assault, despite physically not getting involved in his then girlfriend’s sexual assault.
Pursuant to the rendering of the verdict, Assistant District Attorney General Jan Norman praised the victim for enduring the case, which he told ‘was unlike any other.’ The case has lasted through three trials over nearly three years and innumerable media headlines.
‘All of this doesn’t happen very often,’ Norman said. ‘It doesn’t happen to a rape victim. The media scrutiny and having it in the headlines every single time that there’s a hearing and everything is streamed and people are commenting. She is one of the strongest people that I know. She has incredible courage. She is just an amazing, intelligent young woman.’
At the time of his guilty verdict being read, video footage via WSMV showed Brandon Vandenburg shaking in disbelief, the man’s mother crying uncontrollably nearby.
During trial proceedings, jurors were asked to decide whether to hold Vandenburg criminally responsible for what other players were accused of doing to the female student in a dorm room in June of 2013.
At the time, along with Vandenburg, four former players were all charged, with only two being accused of raping and sexually assaulting the woman.
Brandenburg’s victim only recollection of the night was drinking a blue drink Vandenburg served her and waking up disheveled the following day, she said. Vandenburg, who had been dating the victim for about two weeks at the time of the assault, told the woman he took her to his room to take care of her after she drank too much.
The victim only learned of her assault after investigators told her of the graphic photos and videos that were found on Vandenburg’s phone after video had begun to circulate.
Of great disconcert was the sound of Brandenberg laughing uncontrollably in the background of the video.
Going into trial, Vandenburg’s attorneys argued that he was too drunk to form the necessary intent to direct or encourage players he didn’t even know to commit the crime.
The defense had maintained that Vandenburg was a newly-arrived recruit to the Nashville school and had asked teammates outside the dorm to help him carry the unconscious woman into his room after he couldn’t get her into her apartment.
Vandenburg’s lawyers told jurors that the other players were on the woman as soon as they got her in the room.
Offered defense attorney, Randy Reagan: ‘Mr Vandenburg maybe could have stopped it,’
‘But the state is asking you to find Mr Vandenburg criminally responsible for the actions of people he didn’t know minutes before all this happened.’
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For their part, prosecutors portrayed Brandon Vandenburg as an instigator who betrayed a woman who trusted him by plying her with alcohol and encouraging others to violate her.
Prosecutors said Vandenburg passed out condoms to the other players and then took videos of the crime and sent it to friends as it was happening.
Batey was retried in April and found guilty of aggravated rape and other charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July.
Two other players have yet to be tried and are not currently scheduled to go to trial.
Lawyer Randall Reagan has since told that there would be an appeal in the guilty verdict of Brandon Vandenburg.
The retrial comes amid the furore of what many considered to be the lax six-month sentence, former Stanford University swimmer, Brock Turner was given for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman and contentions that school administrator’s and the legal system’s unresponsive attitude towards a culture of rape on campus at the hands of untouchable sporting jocks.
Of note, Turner, 20, is expected to be released from the county jail after serving only half of his prescribed six month sentence in early September.
— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) June 19, 2016
— Jason Lamb (@NC5_JasonLamb) June 19, 2016