Vanderbilt Rape: Four Football Players Charged

The Vanderbilt rape case has resulted in indictments in Davidson County, Tenn.

Four ex-Vanderbilt University football players have been charged with allegedly raping a woman in a dorm room while she was asleep. Each of the former Vandy athletes face five counts each of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. One of the players faces separate charges of “unlawful photography” and evidence tampering.

One of the rape suspects who lives in Nashville was taken into custody immediately. Of the other three who live outside of Tennessee, two have now been arrested, according to ESPN.

Police spokesman Don Aaron described the evidence against the quartet as compelling and unsettling and also suggested that additional arrests have not been ruled out. The suspects’ teammates, including the Commodores starting quarterback, may be called as witnesses in the case.

The incident at Vanderbilt University occurred in late June, but the formal charges were handed down yesterday after a six-week law enforcement investigation. The players had been kicked of the team and banned from campus in late June.

University officials became suspicious after reviewing surveillance footage on an unrelated situation, The Tennessean reports. “The attack on the 21-year-old woman, whom the university said was a current student, happened in the early hours of June 23. According to police, she was unconscious when the four raped her. But it wasn’t discovered by university officials until two days later. Then, police said, officials there were reviewing hallway camera footage in an unrelated incident when they saw the four former football players acting suspiciously. Officials relayed the information to university police, who got Metro police involved the next morning.”

Following the grand jury indictment of the four Vanderbilt football players, the school issued a lengthy statement that said in part, “Our first thoughts are for the victim, a Vanderbilt student, and we convey to her and her family our deepest sympathies and sorrow. We will continue to offer her all of our services and support… The charges brought today against the four former Vanderbilt football players allege conduct which is abhorrent and will never be tolerated. We will review our athletics program to be sure that it, like all other programs at the university, reflects our culture of community and respect for others and that our student athletes are held to the same high standards of conduct as all our students.”