-- Minutes before former Vanderbilt football player Cory Batey was sentenced to 15 years in prison for raping an unconscious woman, also a student, on campus in 2013, the victim emotionally addressed Batey, describing how his actions had affected her.
"It’s hard for me to stand here on display and speak to you today about the impact this has had on my life," the victim began, speaking in a Nashville, Tennessee, courtroom.
Batey watched, showing no emotion, as the woman, who is not being identified, said she felt "angry" when she thinks about what happened the night of the assault, when she was 21 years old.
"What was possible in my world is now gone," she said. "I thought the world was a better place than it is."
The victim asked that the judge sentence Batey to the maximum of 25 years for the various acts of violence that took place.
"No one should ever have to experience what I have," she said. "Mr. Batey is to blame for his actions."
Shortly after, Batey read a prepared statement statement saying he was "deeply sorry" for his "foolish behavior on June 23, 2013."
"I hope and pray everyone I have let down will forgive me," Batey said. "My actions were not intentional, and I do not have a recollection of the events."
He went on to say his son needs him as a role model.
After the sentencing, which was the minimum term for the charges against Batey, Judge Monte Watkins called the case "one of the saddest" he has ever encountered.
In April, Batey was convicted of aggravated rape, two counts of attempted aggravated rape, facilitation of aggravated rape and three counts of aggravated sexual battery.
Batey's co-defendant, Brandon Vandenburg, will be sentenced on Sept. 30. Vandenburg was found guilty of five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and unlawful photography on June 20 and also faces a 15- to 25-year sentence.
Vandenburg and Batey were originally tried in 2015, but the convictions were thrown out after a judge declared a mistrial because one of the jurors did not disclose that he had been a victim of statutory rape.
Batey, Vandenburg and two other teammates were accused in the assault. While Vandenburg was not accused of physically assaulting the victim himself, he was accused of encouraging others to do so -- which is rape under Tennessee law.
The other two former football players accused in the rape, Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie and Brandon Bank, have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial, The Associated Press reported.