Two Vanderbilt University football players convicted of rape were released on bond Wednesday after the judge granted a mistrial in their case. Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey will be allowed to stay out of jail while they wait to hear when they will be re-tried. Vandenburg’s attorneys told local media he’d be leaving Tennessee immediately.
The mistrial was granted yesterday after Judge Monte Watkins ruled that juror Todd Easter had damaged his credibility and that of the jury when he failed to disclose that his older boyfriend was charged with statutory rape when Easter was a teenager. Vandenburg and Batey were both released after Watkins agreed to reinstate their bail amounts; $350,000 for Batey and $400,000 for Vandenburg. Watkins added an extra $50,000 to Vandenburg’s bail because he was arrested again while awaiting trial on the rape charge; he’s accused of misdemeanor assault against a security guard at his brother’s middle school.
Watkins also required both men to wear GPS ankle monitors and give up their passports. Both men had already posted bail the first time they were arrested, and so were released immediately. (For a bail amount that large, a defendant would typically pay around ten percent of it as bond to be released.)
Vandenburg’s attorney told local news station WKRN News 2 that he’d immediately return to California, where he’s from. The prosecution had asked that neither man be released, saying they are both flight risks because of “the likelihood of conviction.” Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk told WKRN that he planned to re-try the two men. The two other men charged in the rape, Brandon Banks and Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, are still awaiting trial. No trial date has been set for them.
What an enormous, festering mess.
Vandenburg in court, June 22. Screengrab via WKRN