Home / National News / Defense Wants Vanderbilt Rape Trial Verdict Thrown Out over Juror


(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — The defense team for Brandon Vandenburg, one of the former Vanderbilt University football players who was convicted this week of raping a female classmate, is now trying to get the verdict thrown out after discovering one of the jurors did not disclose he or she was a sexual assault victim.

ABC News has confirmed that the juror in question, whom ABC News has decided not to identify, was a victim of statutory rape 15 years ago, and his or her attacker was sentenced to 12 months in jail and 60 months of probation for the crime, but the juror never revealed that information during the jury selection process.

In a statement to ABC News, the attorney for the juror said that the “past situation has zero similarity to the facts presented within the Vanderbilt trial…nor did the past situation have any impact upon deliberations or decision-making in this case.”

Vandenburg’s defense said it now plans to file a motion to have the verdict vacated, which, if granted, means the judge could declare a mistrial, and the guilty verdict could be overturned.

On Tuesday, the jury took just three hours to decide Vandenburg and another former Vanderbilt football player, Cory Batey, were each guilty of four counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg was also found guilty of tampering with evidence and unlawful photography after prosecutors claimed he recorded the sexual assault on his phone, shared it with friends and then tried to cover it up.

Vandenburg and Batey were scheduled to be sentenced on March 6.

The graphic sexual assault case played out in a Nashville, Tennessee courtroom over 12 days, as prosecutors presented surveillance video they said showed Vandenburg carrying the victim into his dorm, accompanied by Batey and two other former players, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie. Jurors also had to watch cellphone video that prosecutors claimed Vandenburg recorded as the sexual assault went on in his dorm room in 2013.

Prosecutors said the victim, a 21-year-old former neuroscience major and dance team member at the university, was drunk and passed out when the incident occurred.

The defense argued that the young men were not guilty of rape, but rather of making a mistake.

Banks and McKenzie also face rape and sexual battery charges, but have not yet gone to trial. They have pleaded not guilty.

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