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Author Topic: Vandy rape case update  (Read 22194 times)

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jbcarol

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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #501 on: May 12, 2017, 07:42:32 am »

Brandon Banks, one of four men charged in the rape of an unconscious woman at Vanderbilt University nearly four years ago, was in court Thursday for a motions hearing, further signaling his case is heading toward trial instead of a plea deal.

Banks, 23, and his lawyer, Mark Scruggs, are arguing that some case evidence should not be used against him in trial. Though a plea agreement could be reached at anytime, the motions indicate ongoing preparation for the trial. That's set for June 19.

Thursday's hearing was the first time in years Banks has appeared in court for the case.




Quote
Police say that on June 23, 2013, four then-football players at Vanderbilt raped an unconscious woman in a dorm on campus. The case put Vanderbilt in the national spotlight scrutinizing how colleges respond to sexual assault, and a federal Department of Education investigation was launched.

Since then, two of the players have been convicted: Brandon Vandenburg, whom the woman was dating, was sentenced to 17 years in prison; and Cory Batey was sentenced to 15 years.

Banks' case, as well as that against co-defendant Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie, have been tracking along in the background.

Following the pair of convictions, plea negotiations to resolve Banks' case began.

McKenzie has testified against his former teammates in hopes of leniency in his own case. It is likely he will do the same against Banks, who he's previously described as a friend so close, they were like brothers.

On Thursday, Banks' lawyer argued that Nashville police illegally searched Banks' cellphone and that evidence seized from it should not be used during his trial.

Scruggs called Nashville Detective Jason Mayo, the lead investigator, to the witness stand. Mayo said he seized Banks' cellphone on June 27, 2013, the day before he obtained a search warrant for Banks' dorm room.

Scruggs argued that the warrant from the next day did not specify the phone could be searched, and said Banks never consented to a search.

"The search warrant makes no particular mention of this phone," Scruggs argued. "They didn't include it in there. ... It's an error is what it is."

Nashville Police Detective Chad Gish helped recover the key evidence in the case: Images and videos depicting the rape that were found on the football players' cellphones.

Fourteen images or video thumbnails were found during the search of Banks' phone, Gish has previously testified, saying they show the woman undressed and unconscious and being sexually touched by Banks and Batey.

The other images recovered from Batey's and Vandenburg's phones are expected to play a key role in Banks' trial.
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #502 on: June 14, 2017, 10:06:52 am »

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/874985295070081024



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The day after one of his former Vanderbilt Commodores teammates walked into a Tennessee prison to start a 17-year sentence, Brandon E. Banks jogged onto a football field.

Banks, now 23, has largely been out of the public eye as two of his former football teammates went to trial — and were convicted — in the June 2013 gang rape of an unconscious female student.

Instead, while his own charges in the case were pending, the Maryland native moved to Jackson, Tenn., where he played two seasons as a defensive back for the Lane College Dragons.

Now, a Nashville jury will decide whether Banks returns to the field for his senior season.

Banks' trial on aggravated rape and other charges begins Monday, nearly four years to the day after the rape that rocked Vanderbilt University.

Had it not been for Vanderbilt University police investigating vandalism in a dorm in June 2013, the rape may never have been discovered.

Campus police saw four men carrying an unconscious woman into a room at Vanderbilt's Gillette Hall in the early morning hours of June 23.

Metro Nashville police began an investigation, and soon four players were off the football team and under indictment, each facing five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

Brandon Vandenburg, a towering junior college recruit who was dating the woman, and Cory Batey, a Nashville native whom the woman had never met, stood trial first in January 2015. ..

Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie also was charged in the case, has pleaded not guilty and has testified against his former teammates in each trial. He's expected to return and testify against Banks, a man he once said was like a brother to him.

"Tip" suited up against Arkansas in the guarantee game last season.
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #503 on: June 15, 2017, 08:51:15 pm »

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/875481488443232257

Quote
The sixteen people are 12 women and four men. Six are minorities. Choosing them provided some hints about the state and defense cases at trial next week.

They include a former military member. A nurse. An engineer. A woman who said serving on a jury was on her bucket list - along with visiting the Grand Canyon.

On trial is Brandon E. Banks, 23, who is charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Prosecutors say Banks and three other former Vanderbilt football players raped an unconscious woman in a dorm room on June 23, 2013.
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jbcarol

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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #505 on: June 19, 2017, 01:41:17 pm »

 Stacey Barchenger‏Verified account @sbarchenger 5h5 hours ago

We've been told by Judge Monte Watkins' staff that reporters can't have laptops, cells in courtroom. So no live tweets for now. #vandytrial

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/876846176896679941
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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #507 on: June 20, 2017, 11:38:52 am »

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/877188141337251841

With lights dimmed, jurors saw images on big-screen TV and took notes. Banks appeared to look, too. #vandytrial

I expect jurors will see videos Gish found that were sent from Vandenburg's phone.
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #508 on: June 21, 2017, 12:32:24 pm »

 Stacey Barchenger‏Verified account @sbarchenger 41m41 minutes ago

Night before at a party, Banks says, there were young women (one was 16) on campus.

“And they were allowing the whole party there to have sex with them. When we found that out, (McKenzie) and (Batey) wanted to find them.”

Banks says Batey called him names for not wanting to participate. McKenzie has not said that in his own prior testimony. #vandytrial

Banks says he was made fun of for not participating. Defense wants jury to hear this, goes to pattern of bullying that influenced Banks.

Defense: "It goes to his state of mind. It goes to the pressure he was under to conform. It all came to a head the next night." #vandytrial


#sotospeak
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hog of steele

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #510 on: June 21, 2017, 12:51:26 pm »

I feel like I am missing something.

1. Police roll up and see some guys carrying a girl into the room.
2. They go to investigate
3. Each guy is charged with 5 counts of rape

How did they rape her 5 times between the police seeing them take her to the room and the police knocking on the door?
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #511 on: June 21, 2017, 01:05:50 pm »

I feel like I am missing something.

1. Police roll up and see some guys carrying a girl into the room.
2. They go to investigate
3. Each guy is charged with 5 counts of rape

How did they rape her 5 times between the police seeing them take her to the room and the police knocking on the door?


Police saw irregularity in the dorm hallway security tape after the fact after Vandenburg messed with it and got caught.

Forensics was able to recover deleted video and images of the girl while the culprits were in the act.
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hog of steele

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #512 on: June 21, 2017, 01:07:30 pm »

Police saw irregularity in the dorm hallway security tape after the fact after Vandenburg messed with it and got caught.

Forensics was able to recover deleted video and images of the girl while the culprits were in the act.

I see. Three cheers for video tape.
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #514 on: June 22, 2017, 12:05:45 pm »

 Stacey Barchenger‏Verified account @sbarchenger 37m37 minutes ago

DA Jan Norman says Banks' argument is like gang member trying to justify a murder because the murder was part of the gang's rules. #vandytrial

Norman says Banks' argument is like gang member trying to justify a murder because the murder was part of the gang's rules. #vandytrial


Defense lawyer Mark Scruggs takes his turn at closing argument.

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/877934685812252672

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #516 on: June 23, 2017, 11:10:57 pm »

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/878417072094576641

Banks will have to serve all 15 years of that term. No early release/parole.
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #517 on: June 25, 2017, 06:12:04 am »

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/878618984412741632

Quote
The jury foreman’s voice cracked and his hands shook Friday as he read the verdict. Brandon E. Banks was guilty in the rape of an unconscious woman in a Vanderbilt University dorm four years ago.

The courtroom was still.

Banks, now 23 and a former Vanderbilt University football player, took a deep breath.

The victim was stoic.

Four years. Four trials. Fifteen grueling hours of jury deliberation Thursday and Friday.

And it still is not done.

As the foreman read a slate of mixed verdicts Friday, the victim held the hand of an advocate who has been by her side each time she’s returned to court.

"I hope that other victims out there can see how strong she was,” Metro Nashville Police Detective Chad Gish said afterward.

"She is a true pillar of strength and my hero. I hope my daughter grows up as strong as she is."

Banks and three teammates were charged with seven felony counts each in the June 23, 2013 gang rape that brought the university into the national spotlight.

His defense tallied wins with five not guilty verdicts when the jury returned from a laborious, two-day deliberation about 6:45 p.m. Friday.

Under Tennessee law, the aggravated rape count carries a minimum prison term of 15 years, up to 25. It also meant Banks, who has been out of custody and playing football at Lane College in Jackson, Tenn., was taken immediately into custody.

He looked back toward his father and friends in the courtroom.

“My heart is for my son,” Banks’ father, Maurice, said. “I hate that he’s where he is right now. Likewise that (the victim) has had to endure this as well.

“Nobody comes out of this on the positive side.”

The jury’s lengthy deliberation gave Banks hope, his lawyer, Mark Scruggs, said after the verdicts. The defense had argued Banks was a victim of bullying, and when he was with his teammates in the room, he felt threatened if he didn’t take their orders.

“Brandon Banks was subject to unbearable treatment while he was at Vanderbilt,” Scruggs said. “I think the jury took that into consideration."

Banks was prepared for the verdict, the lawyer said.

"He's shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process, there's a lot more to do from here on," Scruggs said, mentioning an appeal. "We have some really good issues to raise."
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #518 on: June 25, 2017, 08:53:33 am »

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/878727769382932480

Quote
Prosecutors offered Brandon E. Banks a 10-year prison sentence if he pleaded guilty and avoided a fourth trial in the rape of an unconscious Vanderbilt University student four years ago, Banks' lawyer said Saturday.

Banks didn't take it.

Going to trial was worth the risk of a longer prison term, defense lawyer Mark Scruggs said, because Banks hoped to avoid a lifetime position on the state's sex offender registry.

And on that part of the deal, the state wouldn't budge.

Banks was found guilty of aggravated rape in the case on Friday. State law says he'll face a minimum prison term of 15 years, and up to 25 years...

Judge Watkins will most likely give him the minimum based on his history ruling on this case.
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #519 on: June 26, 2017, 12:04:16 pm »

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/879317893284057088

Quote
A jury Friday evening delivered a mix of acquittals and guilty verdicts against former Vanderbilt University football player Brandon E. Banks, decisions blasted by Banks' lawyer who said the jury did not understand its job.

"They didn't understand the aggravated element of the two charges they convicted him of," lawyer Mark Scruggs said.

Scruggs said he will ask the judge to consider whether the jury's verdicts were inconsistent. If Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins agrees, Scruggs said the judge could reduce the two convictions to lesser crimes or grant Banks a new trial on those counts.


Prosecutors, however, contended the jury aced its job during 15 hours of deliberation across two days.

"Their verdict showed that they meticulously went through everything in the law, and we're very satisfied," Deputy District Attorney Roger Moore said Friday evening.

"It is so gratifying when we heard the words 'guilty of aggravated rape.'"
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #520 on: June 26, 2017, 06:53:05 pm »

https://twitter.com/RobMcGuireLaw/status/879003438901858305

But "aid and abet" means that Vandenberg/Batey shared Banks intent to assault. Not required that he shares their intent to assault. 2/

Jury could agree that Banks did not share in Vandenburg/Batey intent to rape bc of bullying - therefore he's not guilty on those counts 3/

BUT they jury could find that Banks sexually pentetrated and touched victim and Vandenburg/Batey shares Banks intent to assault 3/

Therefore Banks is guilty of Agg Rape and Agg Sex Batt based on his own4/ indiv actions but not guilty based on Vandenburg/Batey actions 4/

If this is how the jury perceived this this is impressive legal reasoning by them and very reasonable. I think the verdicts will stand 5/5
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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #521 on: June 26, 2017, 08:36:22 pm »

Damn shame it taking this long.
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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #523 on: July 02, 2017, 04:09:06 am »

https://twitter.com/sbarchenger/status/881170661858844676

Quote
Deliberating the fate of Brandon E. Banks was so intense at times, jurors resorted to a trusted schoolhouse trick to share their views: taking turns.

A package of gum passed around the table transformed into a token for taking turns speaking.

One week earlier, 12 jurors found Banks, a former Vanderbilt University football player, guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery in the June 2013 gang-rape of an unconscious woman in an on-campus dorm.

Banks' trial was the shortest of four trials in the case yet the longest a jury has deliberated.

Wesley Jarman, 31, a machine operator who lives in Antioch, was one of the 12 jurors.

His own mind was changed on one count after deliberation, he said.

One thing, he said, was clear when jurors first began weighing the evidence: Banks was guilty of something. Determining what that was wasn't so easy.

On the first day of deliberation, jurors spent the entire 5½ hours trying to understand criminal responsibility, according to Jarman. That's the law that says a person can be found guilty if they help another commit a crime, even if they didn't physically participate.

Ultimately, the jurors found Banks guilty of the two crimes prosecutors charged he physically committed himself. The jury found Banks not guilty on five counts in which he was charged for the acts of another player.

Jury members often talked over each other — it wasn't until the second day they decided to use the chewing gum to keep order.

Multiple times they rewatched graphic videos of the rape and re-examined images, all taken on the football players' cellphones, Jarman said. The emotional toll of their task came from knowing their decision would change Banks' life and the victim's life.

The woman graduated from Vanderbilt and is pursuing higher education out of state. She returned to Nashville to testify against Banks, whom she had never met.
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #524 on: August 18, 2017, 10:05:08 pm »

Stacey Barchenger‏Verified account @sbarchenger 6h6 hours ago

New version of story: Brandon Banks sentenced to 15 years in prison in Vanderbilt rape case http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/17/brandon-banks-faces-friday-sentencing-vanderbilt-rape-case/565194001/ … via @tennessean


Quote
Brandon E. Banks’ choices cost him 15 years of his life and ended a stranger’s as she knew it.

A judge on Friday sentenced the 23-year-old former Vanderbilt University football player to 15 years in a Tennessee prison for raping and sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in June 2013.

In a powerful statement, the victim of the rape blasted Banks’ choices in the dorm room that night and in the more than four years since.

Banks chose to go to trial, turning aside plea deals over fears he’d be labeled for life as a sex offender. And he traveled the South speaking to college athletes about sexual assault while his own charges were pending.

“He chose to put me through that again and expose the body he gang raped, my body, to yet another panel of strangers,” according to her statement, read in court by Assistant District Attorney General Jan Norman. “He chose to put me through yet another roller coaster during (plea) negotiations.

“He chose to invite and amplify more attention to himself and what he has done rather than accept responsibility without making excuses.

“He chose to blame others and portrayed himself as the victim he clearly thinks he is.

“I am the only person in all of this who never had a choice.”
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jbcarol

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Re: Vandy rape case update
« Reply #525 on: August 26, 2017, 06:39:37 am »

Judge denies Brandon Vandenburg's request for new trial


Quote
More than a year into a 17-year prison term for his role in the gang rape of a woman at Vanderbilt University in 2013, Brandon Vandenburg returned to a Nashville courtroom Friday to argue why he deserved a new trial.

That request is procedural and lays the groundwork for the former Vanderbilt Commodores football player's appeal.

Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins denied Vandenburg's request after an about 30-minute hearing, finding no problems with his case.

The towering 6-foot, 6-inch former player, who swapped and black-and-gold jersey for a blue-and-denim prison uniform, walked into court Friday with his wrists in handcuffs chained to his jeans.

He stole a glance at his mother seated in the front row, who has been at nearly every court hearing in the past four years to support her son. She declined to comment after the hearing.

Vandenburg, now 24, was a prized Commodores football recruit out of junior college in California in June 2013 when video surveillance shows he and his teammates carried an unconscious woman into his on-campus dorm...

Two others raped and sexually assaulted the woman while Vandenburg cheered them on, crimes that were recorded on the players' own cellphones, according to trial testimony.

Vandenburg stood trial with another player, Cory Batey, in January 2015. That was later declared a mistrial because of an issue with a juror's honesty.

Vandenburg went to trial again in June 2016, was found guilty of all eight counts against him, and later sentenced to 17 years in prison.

It is that conviction his lawyers, Albert Perez Jr. and Randall Reagan, will now appeal. According to their arguments Friday, the defense believes:

    Watkins, the judge, was wrong to exclude an expert, who would have discussed the effect of intoxication, from testifying at trial
    There was insufficient evidence in the case, which is a standard appeals issue
    Prosecutors committed misconduct in statements made during closing arguments
    The indictments in the case – there are two, because prosecutors sought a second one with clarifying language after Vandenburg’s first case ended in mistrial – are flawed and violate double jeopardy

Deputy District Attorney Roger Moore and Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman said those complaints did not warrant a new trial. Norman noted that several have been argued and denied by the judge before, during the course of the case.

And they quickly refuted a suggestion by Perez that the judge would rule a certain way because of the high-profile case.

"I know this high-profile case, it's on the news, there's the news media here," Perez said Friday. "We're in Nashville, and Vanderbilt, it involved Vanderbilt. But I'm asking the court to follow, please, follow the law."

Batey and another ex-player found guilty at a separate trial earlier this year, Brandon E. Banks, are each serving 15-year prison terms, the minimum possible prison time for their convictions. Both have yet to launch their appeals.
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