Former college football players guilty of rape; 'culture excuse' defense fails
Two former football players at Vanderbilt University were found guilty of rape on Tuesday in the sexual assault of an unconscious woman that was recorded on a cellphone.
Jurors in Nashville convicted former players Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg of aggravated rape, aggravated sexual battery, and attempted aggravated rape. The Tennessean, the Associated Press and Courthouse News Service have stories. Two other players charged in the incident are awaiting trial.
Defense lawyer Worrick Robinson had suggested that a college culture of drinking and promiscuity had affected the actions of his client, Batey, who testified he was “drunk out of my mind” during the incident. In closing arguments, Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman criticized the “culture excuse,” according to the account by Courthouse News Service.
“What culture did you see in this case? The culture you really saw was entitled athletes thinking rules don’t apply to them,” Thurman said.
The other defendant, Vandenburg, was accused of encouraging the rape though he didn’t have sex with the victim. As the verdict was read, Vandenburg’s father yelled out, “That is terrible.”