When two former football players at Vanderbilt were accused of rape, their lawyer argued that they were too drunk to know what they were doing and that a college culture of hard drinking and promiscuous sex should be blamed for the attack. The jury did not buy this and took only a few hours to convict Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, both 21, of four counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated battery.
Does college culture encourage rape? Rape has long been a problem on college campuses, but that certainly does not give any one a defense for this heinous crime. This particular rape case was not the norm—despite the fact that the victim had no memory of the night in question other than waking up in a strange room, the attack was captured on a security camera. In addition, Vandenburg sent photos of the attack as it was happening to friends. The taped evidence was discovered and turned in to police by the university. Before this video became known, not one witness had come forward. It was later learned that there were many witnesses that either saw or heard the assault.
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Testimony showed Vandenburg passed out condoms to the other players, slapped her buttocks and said he couldn’t have sex with the woman because he was high on cocaine, the AP said. Batey raped the woman and urinated on her, prosecutors said.
The defense blamed alcohol. The jury did not buy that a college culture of drinking and sex was to blame.
The victim, who was a 21-year-old neuroscience and economics major at the time of the 2013 attack, cried as each guilty verdict was announced. In a statement she thanked prosecutors, detectives and victims advocates.
“You are my heroes and I am so proud of and grateful for each of you,” the statement read.
If you or someone you love was raped or sexually assaulted in any way, call us with any questions you have. We can discuss your legal options and let you know your options. 516-217-9097