Legal team changes in rape case involving ex-football player - WSMV Channel 4

Legal team changes in rape case involving ex-Vandy football player

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

There's another change in the legal team for a key suspect in the rape case involving four former football players at Vanderbilt University.

Brandon Vandenburg has hired new local attorneys to defend him, days after the district attorney's office accused his California-based lawyer of helping to destroy evidence in the case.

Albert Perez Jr., who represents Vandenburg, is expected to be in Davidson County court Tuesday for a hearing to discuss these new allegations.

It's unclear whether Perez will join the new local member of Vandenburg's team, Clarksville attorney Fletcher Long.

They step in as the Davidson County district attorney's office is accusing Perez of destroying evidence and asking that he be removed from the case.

Prosecutors call Perez an "un-indicted co-conspirator" and say he should be removed due to a conflict of interest.

According to motions filed by the DA's office Friday, Perez was an active participant in the tampering and destruction of evidence, and two of Vandenburg's California friends who are charged with evidence tampering testified that's what Perez did.

Vandenburg, a former Vandy football player, is accused of sending video and pictures of the alleged rape of an unconscious woman to those two friends, Joseph Quinzio and Miles Finley.

Channel 4 News talked to an attorney who is not at all involved with the case to find out what this could all mean.

"The lawyer might be called as a witness in the case or may have criminal exposure himself," said attorney David Raybin.

While it's still not clear what evidence Perez is accused of helping destroy, the DA's office also asked that a protective order be put in place after prosecutors received word that "an attorney involved in the case had made a statement about releasing a copy of the video of the alleged crime on the internet or to parties not associated with the case," according to court documents.

"If somebody would post something or violate a protective order, that person could find themselves in jail," Raybin said.

Vandenburg's defense team has a few accusations of their own. They claim the DA's office has not handed over all the evidence in the case for the defense's review. The prosecution says they have already given more than 50 DVDs, which include witness statements taken by police.

Channel 4 News has repeatedly reached out to Perez for comment about this story, but he has not returned our calls or emails.

Again, it's unclear if he is still on the case. We've also reached out to Vandenburg's new attorney, Fletcher Long, but he has not called us back.

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