(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — An attorney for Cory Batey, one of the defendants in the Vanderbilt University rape case, said he and his client are “relieved” that Batey’s guilty verdict was tossed out.
“I was quite relieved, thankful, grateful,” attorney Worrick Robinson told ABC’s 20/20 in an interview one day after a judge declared a mistrial.
“We felt we were right and we felt the case law was on our side,” he added.
Batey, a former player for the Vanderbilt University football team, and fellow ex-player Brandon Vandenburg, were convicted in January of multiple counts of aggravated rape and sexual battery for a June 2013 campus assault of female student, who prosecutors said was drunk and unconscious at the time of the incident.
Vandenburg was also found guilty of tampering with evidence and unlawful photography after prosecutors claimed he recorded a sexual assault of the alleged victim on his phone and shared it with friends.
But Judge Monte Watkins ruled on Tuesday that the guilty verdict for both men be thrown out because the jury foreman, known as Juror No. 9, failed to disclose that he was once the victim of statutory rape, according to an eight-page written order obtained by ABC News.
“People ask me if I have anger at Juror No. 9,” Robinson said. “And Cory Batey and I have sat in the jail and talked a number of occasions and talked about Juror No. 9, and we are thankful for Juror No. 9 … because it has given these two boys new hope.”
Vandenburg and Batey were released on bond Wednesday after the judge granted their attorneys’ request to re-instate the bail, set at $350,000 each. The judge added $50,000 to Vandenburg’s bond, citing the fact that Vandenburg lives out of state, in California, and citing Vandenburg’s additional misdemeanor offense since the initial bail was set.
Both men were seen walking out with Bibles in their hands. They will have to wear GPS monitors and check in with bondsmen once a week. They were also ordered to surrender their passports.
For Batey, being released was “overwhelming,” Robinson said, “but I think just walking out was the greatest feeling he has had in a long time.”
The ruling entitles the men to a new trial, though prosecutors can appeal.
Robinson also acknowledged that this was a very difficult process for the alleged female victim, whom ABC News has declined to name.
“I have to imagine there’s disappointment on the other side because it did take a tremendous amount of courage to sit for three weeks and to face these two young men and to do it in a very public setting,” Robinson said. “I think that everybody wants to start the healing process perhaps that started and this is going to be a hiccup and change that perhaps, I hope not.”
Two other ex-players accused of being involved in the incident, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie, also face rape and sexual battery charges, but have not yet gone to trial. They have pleaded not guilty.
Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET
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