The Vanderbilt University rape victim, whose name was not released, has condemned a jury for their unexpected verdict, which was read on Saturday. Although he was arrested and charged with multiple counts of aggravated rape, 22-year-old Cory Batey was only convicted on one charge.
Batey is one of four former Vanderbilt University football players charged with sexually violating the female student. In addition to Cory Batey, the accused includes Brandon Vandenburg, who the victim was reportedly dating for two weeks before the incident.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) April 9, 2016
According to reports, the unnamed woman was raped in a Vanderbilt University dormitory. During Batey’s trial, the victim testified she had been hanging out with Vandenburg in a bar. She contends the last thing she remembered about the evening was accepting a drink from the former football player.
The victim said she woke up feeling nauseous the following day. However, she had no recollection of what happened until police showed her photos and videos, which appear to prove she was sexually violated while she was unconscious.
Authorities confirmed the sexual assault was only discovered by mistake. University officials were reviewing surveillance video due to a vandalism incident when they happened across footage of athletes carrying an unconscious woman and dumping her in the hallway. School officials immediately contacted the Nashville police.
Amid the investigation, authorities recovered another video, which was filmed on the night of the Vanderbilt University student’s rape. The 32-minute attack was reportedly filmed by teammates and sent to friends during and after the violent assault. As evidenced in the video clips, the onslaught ended with Batey urinating on the victim before she was dumped in a hallway.
— Dateline NBC (@DatelineNBC) April 9, 2016
During his trial, Batey said he was too drunk to recall any knowledge of the attack. His legal defense team, led by Courtney Teasley, told jurors that Vandenburg, who she called the “puppet master,” got Batey drunk on purpose and used him and the victim as entertainment for his teammates.
“We know what rape is and Mr. Batey’s not guilty of that,” Teasley said.
She added drunken sex is a common occurrence on campus, blaming the elite university for not keeping the culture in check.
According to the Tennessean, the first trial ended in turmoil in June 2015 when Judge Monte Watkins declared a mistrial. According to reports, the jury foreman was determined to be biased because she was once a victim of rape, a detail she failed to provide before the trial began.
During his new trial, Batey was found guilty of only one count of aggravated rape, which carries a minimum 15-year prison sentence. Although she praised the prosecution’s presentation of the facts, the Vanderbilt University rape victim insists “the result is… unjust”.
“Last year, the defendants received a fair trial. If the law required a new trial due to a juror’s dishonesty that did not impact deliberations, the law should change and the juror should face consequences. For three years, defense counsel have broken rules, flouted the Court’s orders and harassed me with impunity. Despite the hard work of the exemplary prosecutors who’ve worked tirelessly on this case, I can only conclude that our system of justice is broken. I deserved better. Victims of sexual assault deserve better.”
Although four former Vanderbilt University football players are charged with raping the unnamed woman, only Batey was on trial this week. His sentencing is scheduled for May 20.
Vandenburg is scheduled to go to trial in June. The other two former Vanderbilt University football players, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie and Brandon Banks, were also charged in the rape. However, their trials have not been scheduled at this time.
The New York Daily News reports that Beth Fortune, Vanderbilt University’s vice chancellor for public affairs, issued a statement on behalf of the school on Friday night.
“Our first thoughts are with the victim and the incredible strength she has shown …our heart continues to go out to her as she has endured this retrial. Sexual violence will not be tolerated at Vanderbilt… will be investigated, victims will be supported and perpetrators will be held accountable.”
Although the Vanderbilt University rape victim condemned the verdict, Cory Batey has not issued a public response.
[Image via Sean Pavone/Shutterstock]