CRIME
06/24/2017 12:49 am ET

Ex-Vanderbilt Football Player Found Guilty In Gang Rape Of Unconscious Student

Surveillance footage showed four men carrying the unconscious victim into a dorm room.

A former football player for Vanderbilt University was found guilty on Friday of the 2013 rape of an unconscious woman on the floor of a dorm room. Brandon Banks, now 23, is the third ex-football player from the Nashville university to be charged in the assault.

After 15 hours of deliberation, a jury found Banks guilty on two charges of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery and not guilty on five other charges, The Associated Press reported. Banks faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Banks is one of four men who were charged after police investigating a report of vandalism at the dorm found surveillance footage of the men carrying an unconscious woman into a room, according to BuzzFeed News. 

The investigation uncovered 14 deleted videos and photos of the men raping and sexually assaulting the woman, The Tennessean reported. In recovered footage, Banks is reportedly seen penetrating the woman with a water bottle as his teammate Brandon Vandenburg urges him on, according to WTVF in Nashville.

During the trial this week, Banks took the stand and accused his former teammates of bullying him into participating in the assault and taking pictures of the victim, according to The Tennessean. Banks admitted to sexually touching her and said that he penetrated her with the bottle because Vandenburg told him to.

Banks also said that he feared his teammates would beat him up if he didn’t join them in the assault, AP reported.

Vandenburg, who was allegedly friends with the victim and had met her at a bar on the night of the assault, was found guilty in 2016 on five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of unlawful photography during the assault, which took place in his dorm room. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Corey Batey, another former football player at Vanderbilt, was also convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The fourth former player, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, testified against his teammates in hopes of making a plea deal in his own case.

The victim took the stand Wednesday during Banks’ trial and recalled what she could on the night of the rape, WTVF reported.

She said that the last thing she remembered was Vandenburg, whom she had been dating, giving her a blue drink at the bar. The next morning, she said, she woke up alone on the floor of a dorm room that she didn’t recognize.

The victim did not know she had been sexually assaulted until detectives showed her footage from that night. She testified that she did not know Banks before learning of the assault.

Wednesday’s trial marked the fifth time she testified against her assailants, according to AP.

A judge will determine Banks’ sentence.

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