Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Star Athletes Face Legal Realities? ~by Legal Pub

Sooner or later entitlement and special treatment ends.  For some athletes it is sooner rather than later. Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, two ex-Vanderbilt football players were accused of raping a female student.  The defense suggested that the defendant athletes were too drunk to rape the victim. A jury apparently saw through the defense and returned a conviction for each defendant.  

Was the jury correct when they rejected a defense which claimed that the accused were only acting in conformity with a college culture which promotes binge drinking and promiscuous sex? The jury returned its verdict after only three hours of deliberation.  It is probably two hours and fifty five minutes longer than what most juries would have deliberated under the circumstances.

In 2013, the victim was a 21-year-old neuroscience and economic major.  She testified that she did not remember what happened other than waking up in a strange dorm room. However, the jury saw cell phone photos and video that Vandenburg apparently had sent during the events. Yet, despite witnesses seeing an unconscious woman partially clothed in the dorm hallway, no one called the police. 
Both defendants were convicted of four counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.  Both defendants were tried together. Attorneys for Vandenburg argued that Brandon did not assault the victim.  However, Vandenburg was apparently recorded on video laughing and encouraging others. Batey's attorneys argued that the photos and video did not show show Cory assaulting the victim. Both defendants lawyers argued that their clients were too drunk to know what the were doing and that the college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex was to blame. 

The prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman suggested that the defendants excuses were red herrings and that athletes think that the law doesn't apply to them. "That's the culture that you really saw here . their mindset that they can get away with anything," Thurman said. Both defendants will be sentenced in March.  


Anonymous said...

Pretty sad. This was incredibly stupid lack of judgment.

Anonymous said...

Brawl at the end of the Super Bowl was inappropriate!