Brandon Vandenburg, a former Vanderbilt University football player, has been found guilty of organizing his girlfriend’s gang rape in his dorm room, according to The Guardian. Vandenburg is said to have encouraged his teammates to rape his unconscious girlfriend in June of 2013.
The Tennessee jury deliberated for only four hours before coming back with a guilty verdict. Vandenburg has been charged with five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of unlawful photography. The 22-year-old now faces up to 25 years in jail.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors made the case that Vandenburg betrayed his girlfriend’s trust when he encouraged other men to rape her. Prosecutors argued Vandenburg gave excessive alcohol to his girlfriend until she was unconscious and then he passed out condoms to the other football players in his dorm. He then recorded the horrific acts and sent them to his friends.
Surveillance video was previously aired by ABC News. In it, Vandenburg can be seen carrying the victim out of his car and into his dorm. There were three other football players already waiting there.
The defense didn’t waste any time and argued that the former football player only asked for his teammates’ help. Vandenburg couldn’t get the unconscious woman into her apartment and he decided to take her to his dorm instead. But even then, the defense says, Vandenburg needed the help of his teammates’ to get her inside his room.
“Mr. Vandenburg maybe could have stopped it,” said defense attorney Randy Reagan. “But the state is asking you to find Mr. Vandenburg criminally responsible for the actions of people he didn’t know minutes before all this happened.”
This is the second time Vandenburg has been found guilty in this case. Early last year, he and former teammate Cory Batey were found convicted. The verdicts didn’t stand though because a juror didn’t mention he had been a victim of statutory rape.
This time, four former players were charged in the case. Two of them are accused of raping and sexually assaulting the woman. Batey was found guilty of aggravated rape and other charges.
Twitter didn’t hold back after hearing the guilty verdict. People used several hashtags to follow along and comment on the case: #vandytrial, #vandyretrial and #vandenburg. There was also comparisons between Vandenburg’s case and Brock Turner.
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