Vanderbilt Football Trial: Alleged Rape Details Emerge

The situation was fueled by binge drinking and college culture, lawyers argue.

ByABC News
January 16, 2015, 10:37 AM

— -- A jury in a Nashville courtroom Thursday watched surveillance footage that the prosecution says shows a young woman being carried to a Vanderbilt University dorm room moments before she was allegedly sexually assaulted. It’s a situation that the defense argues was fueled by binge drinking and college culture.

The footage was just some of the graphic details prosecutors presented in accusing four former Vanderbilt football players of being involved in an alleged rape of a female classmate. Prosecutors claim that surveillance video shows the alleged victim being carried by Brandon Vandenburg to his dorm that night, accompanied by Cory Batey and two other men, where she was sexually assaulted within minutes of being in the room.

Prosecutors say the woman – a neuroscience major at the university – was allegedly drunk and passed out when the incident occurred. Vandenburg was the boyfriend of the alleged victim, who ABC has declined to name.

“She doesn’t remember anything until the next morning, approximately 8 o’clock,” prosecutor Tom Thurman said.

“Little did she know that day that had such great promise for her turned into her worst nightmare. A nightmare she relived for a long time.”

Vandenburg and Batey are charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. The other two ex-players accused of being involved in the incident, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie, also face charges of rape and sexual battery, but have not yet gone to trial. They are expected to testify against Vanderburg and Batey. All have pleaded not guilty.

According to prosecutors, the four players, who’ve since been kicked off the team, laughed at the victim before they allegedly assaulted her. Vandenburg also allegedly recorded the assault on his phone and is also charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography. Prosecutors claim Vandenburg sent pictures and video of the attack to his friends, and later searched online how to delete photos so the police can’t find them.

Prosecutors then accused the former players texted each other about the alleged attack, trying to cover it up.