Judge sets new trial for Vandenburg, Batey in rape case - WSMV News 4

Judge sets new trial date for Vandenburg, Batey in Vanderbilt rape case

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Brandon Vandenburg (L) and Cory Batey are awaiting a second trial. Brandon Vandenburg (L) and Cory Batey are awaiting a second trial.
Cory Batey sits in the courtroom during his arraignment on Wednesday. Cory Batey sits in the courtroom during his arraignment on Wednesday.

The judge has set Nov. 30 as the new trial date for two men charged in the sexual assault of a female student in 2013. 

The state and the attorneys for Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey could not agree on a date, so Judge Monte Watkins set the date for them.

“I would like to try this case before the end of the year,” Watkins said.

Vandenburg's new legal team said they are concerned about having enough time to prepare. Batey's legal team will have to confirm the scheduling.

Vandenburg, Batey, Brandon Banks and Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie were all arraigned on Wednesday morning. They are each charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg is also charged with unlawful photography for allegedly taking photos of the alleged assault. 

Attorneys for Banks and McKenzie entered not guilty pleas for their clients on Wednesday morning. 

Vandenburg and Batey's attorneys said they would not be entering a plea because they received the indictment late. They said they do not want to make a plea before reviewing the indictments to avoid any defects.

“The language in the indictment is different if you compare the two,” said Worrick Robinson, Batey’s defense attorney. “We just don’t want to be committed to anything that we don’t know the long-term ramifications of.”

Attorneys for the alleged victim said she would again be ready and willing to take part in the trial.

Motions for a change of venue are expected to be filed soon.

Police said the alleged rape happened in Vandenburg's dorm room in Gillette Hall in June 2013.

The young woman testified during the first trial for Batey and Vandenburg, claiming one of the last things she remembered was Vandenburg handing her a blue drink at the Tin Roof bar on Demonbreun. 

Police were reviewing surveillance video from the dorm for a vandalism case when they said they saw footage of the four defendants carrying the woman into the dorm and into Vandenburg's room. That's when they started their investigation, eventually uncovering photos and videos of the alleged assault. Detectives showed that evidence to the alleged victim.

After a two-week trial in January, a jury found Batey and Vandenburg guilty of all charges. The two men were awaiting sentencing when their defense attorneys filed a motion for mistrial, arguing the jury foreman may have been prejudiced or biased because he was a victim of statutory rape. Jury Foreman Todd Easter testified, saying that he did not consider himself a victim.

Judge Monte Watkins ultimately ruled in favor of the defense and declared a mistrial last month. Batey and Vandenburg were then released on bond. Click here to watch video of them leaving the jail.

McKenzie and Banks have not been tried in the case.

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