The prosecution rested yesterday in the rape trial of Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg, two of the four Vanderbilt University football players accused of raping an unconscious woman. The alleged victim testified that when she awoke the next day with no memory of the night, Vandenburg told her "he had to spend all night taking care of me and that it was horrible."
Vandenburg and the woman had been on a few dates; according to the Associated Press, she testified that the last thing she remembered from the night was him bringing her drink after drink at a local bar. She woke up the next day in her dorm room, alone and disoriented. From the AP:
"I felt very out of it," the alleged victim, who is now pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience at a school outside of Tennessee, testified. "I didn't feel like myself. I felt very confused. I felt sick and nauseous. I started to develop a really bad headache and I was also in pain in certain parts of my body."
Vandenberg would tell her later in the day that she got very drunk and he tended to her, she said.
"He told me that I had gotten sick in his room and he had to clean it up and that it was horrible and that he had to spend all night taking care of me and that it was horrible," she testified of what Vandenberg told her about what had happened. "I apologized. I was embarrassed."
The Nashville Police only began investigating the incident when school officials reviewed dorm security footage after a vandalism report and instead saw her being dragged down a hallway. She also testified that she initially refused a physical examination, because she didn't know what had happened. Vandenburg soon sent her a text message saying he was going to get kicked off the football team because of the allegations; she responded, "I don't want anyone to get in trouble because of me," and "I'll do everything I can to clear your name." Police say she learned what had happened when she was shown a video of the attack shot from Vandenburg's cellphone. According to the Tennessean, when she saw the video again during trial, she didn't hesitate to affirm it was her: "'That's me,' she said, her voice unwavering."
Vandenburg and Batey are both charged with aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery. In addition, Vandenburg is also charged with unlawful photography and tampering with evidence. The two other football players accused in the attack, Brandon Banks and Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie, haven't yet had their cases set for trial. The assumption is that they've agreed to testify against Batey and Vandenburg in exchange for a plea deal: McKenzie testified that he didn't touch the woman himself but took pictures as Banks and Batey raped her. He said Vandenburg also didn't rape the woman himself, but was "amped" and gave the others directions as the assault took place.
Image of Vandenburg via AP