National News

Vanderbilt rape case: Trial underway for former football player Brandon Banks

Posted June 19

— The trial is underway for the third suspect in the sexual assault of a Vanderbilt student back in 2013.

Brandon Banks has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.

Banks and three other former Vanderbilt football players are accused of raping the female student inside a dorm room in Gillette Hall.

During her opening statement, Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman gave the jury a timeline of events in the case, describing the graphic details of the moments that were caught on photo and video.

Detectives with the Metro Nashville Police Department later recovered the photos and videos that were filmed by the defendants, even though they had already been deleted.

Norman said the woman was in a "confused state" the next morning and does not remember anything until she woke up around 8 a.m. the next day.

One of Banks' defense attorneys delivered her opening statement, pointing out to the jury that the videos will be "unsettling" to watch and that "awful, terrible" things were being doing to the victim.

"There is nothing about this case that will be easy," the defense attorney said.

The state's first witness was Julianna Martel, who was on the dance team with the victim and was with her the night of the assault.

Capt. Donnie Harville, who was a detective with the Vanderbilt University Police Department in 2013, was also called to the stand. He is reviewing the surveillance video taken at the dorm and identifying the people on the video for the jury.

Harville got involved in the case while investigating a vandalism case at Gillette Hall. He found video of the four defendants carrying the woman into the building and into Brandon Vandenburg's dorm room.

Vandenburg and Cory Batey have already been convicted and sentenced to prison in connection with the case.

The fourth football player involved, Jaborian McKenzie, has pleaded not guilty. There is no word on when he will go to trial.

Click here to watch a live stream of the trial. (NOTE: The feed will be cut off periodically to protect the name of the alleged victim.)

Stay with Channel 4 and for updates from the courtroom.


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