Second of 4 ex-Vanderbilt football players released on bond - WSMV News 4

Second of 4 ex-Vanderbilt football players released on bond

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The second of four former Vanderbilt football players arrested following an investigation into an alleged on-campus sex crime has been released on bond.

Brandon Banks, 19, of Brandywine, MD, was released Monday just before 5 p.m. on $250,000 bond.

Banks - who had surrendered himself to Metro police Sunday evening - is the second man to be released, after 19-year-old Jaborian McKenzie posted $50,000 bond on Saturday.

On Friday, Metro police arrested Cory Batey, 19, at his Nashville home. Brandon Vandenburg, 20, was booked into the Metro Jail on Saturday.

A court hearing for the former Vanderbilt players has been set for Wednesday, Aug. 21.

The four athletes have been at the center of the investigation that began in June after a reported sexual assault in a Vanderbilt University campus dorm.

Vanderbilt officials then banned the four from campus and kicked them off the football team for what was called a violation of team rules.

Each of the four is now charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Police said Vandenburg is additionally charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.

Police say the investigation revealed the four allegedly raped an unconscious victim inside Vandenburg's room at Gillette House dormitory in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23.

According to the indictment, Vandenburg photographed the victim and distributed that picture.

Metro police detectives began investigating after they were notified by Vanderbilt University police, who said an unrelated situation captured by the dorm's hallway surveillance system revealed concerning behavior by the suspects.

"It was viewing of the surveillance video in regards to a totally unrelated situation that kind of started the investigation process," said Metro police spokesman Don Aaron.

Since that time, Metro police interviewed a number of people and collected evidence to send to the TBI Crime Laboratory.

And late last month, Metro detectives traveled to southern California to follow up on new leads in the case and collect other evidence.

Batey was taken into custody Friday and transported to General Hospital for a mandatory blood test, required by state law.

"Police knocked on the door. He answered the door. He told them he would cooperate fully, and that's what he did," said attorney Worrick Robinson, who is representing Batey.

Metro police added this investigation is ongoing and it's possible they may be looking at additional people in this case.

Nashville attorney David Raybin, who is not involved in this case but has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, said as the case moves to the courtroom, any pictures could have a huge impact.

"It might be exculpatory for a particular person. You don't know until you actually look at the forensic evidence. But, certainly, computer evidence and phone evidence will be key in the case," Raybin said.

Several current Vanderbilt football players have been interviewed in the police investigation, and quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels is among those listed to possibly testify in a trial.

Head football coach James Franklin addressed the media Friday after the team's practice.

"I think you guys know how prideful I am - how much I care about this community, how much I care about this university, how much I care about this football program. I care about all those tings very deeply, so whenever something doesn't happen that's positive for all three of those things, it breaks my heart," Franklin said.

In a statement Friday, Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Beth Fortune said officials "are shocked and saddened by the allegations" and "are focused on doing everything we can to prevent any future incident like this on our campus."

Fortune said the victim is a Vanderbilt student, and the university wants to "convey to her and her family our deepest sympathies and sorrow. We will continue to offer her all of our services and support."

The university plans to review its athletics program to ensure it "reflects our culture of community and respect for others and that our student athletes are held to the same high standards of conduct as all our students," Fortune said.

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