Four Vanderbilt football players indicted for rape of an unconscious woman

The four men were arrested over the weekend, though more charges may be pending, according to authorities

Published August 12, 2013 12:28PM (EDT)

  (<a href=''>Lavaria Ferreri Liotti</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)
(Lavaria Ferreri Liotti via Shutterstock)

Four former Vanderbilt football players charged with the alleged rape of an unconscious 21-year-old woman were arrested in Nashville, Tenn., over the weekend.

Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie were each charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg was also charged with one count of unlawful photography and tampering with evidence.

Though the four suspects are in custody, the investigation is ongoing and more charges may be pending, according to a statement from District Attorney General Torry Johnson: "Although four people are being charged at this time, the investigation is still on-going into the actions of other individuals and the role(s) they may have played in this incident."

The four men are accused of raping an unconscious woman in Vandenburg's dorm room in June. The police were notified of the alleged crime after university officials checked the dorm's surveillance footage regarding an unrelated incident.

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson called the video evidence "compelling" and "unsettling," according to USA Today.

In a statement, Vanderbilt's Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Beth Fortune said the university will work to "prevent any future incident like this":

We are shocked and saddened by the allegations that such an assault has taken place on our campus and that they include members of our football team. When certain facts first became known to us, we moved swiftly and decisively to remove these players from the team, suspend them from the university on an interim basis, and bar them from campus. Even before the university took those actions, the Vanderbilt University Police Department contacted the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, and we have cooperated closely with them and the District Attorney’s office during their investigation.

We respect that at this point in the criminal justice process no determination of guilt has been made and that the accused are entitled to the presumption of innocence. Recognizing this, we are focused on doing everything we can to prevent any future incident like this on our campus.

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Crime Football Rape Sexual Assault Sexual Violence Sports Vanderbilt University Violence Against Women