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Graphic Evidence Described In Vanderbilt Rape Case

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Graphic Evidence Described In Vanderbilt Rape Case

CREATED Jul 1, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Shocking new information was revealed in the Vanderbilt rape case Monday. 

Graphic new details emerged during an all day hearing in Davidson County Criminal court about crucial cellphone video evidence showing what happened. The video remains under seal, but a Metro Detective being questioned described the content of that video.

Judge Monte Watkins heard motions in the case against former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Vandenburg. He is one four former players accused of raping a student in a campus dorm last June. All have pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorneys for Vandenburg were arguing for a dismissal of all charges against him.  

Metro Detective Chad Gish was being pressed by attorney Albert Perez, who represents Vandenburg, on whether evidence had been lost or destroyed.

Gish described what he found.

"I found images of a victim being brutally raped off of your defendant’s cell phone," Gish testified.

Some his testimony was very graphic. He mentioned seeing images of one of the suspects with his fingers inserted into the victim’s vagina.

Gish said the images were not of Vandenburg but one of the other suspects. He said either Cory Batey or Brandon Banks.

The video has never been made public and is expected to be a very important part of the criminal case when it goes to trial in August.

Also in court Monday, Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman said that the defense attorneys violated the state's rape shield law when they filed a motion of more than 100 pages that contained personal information about the rape victim, such as her name, photos, medical records and Twitter account.

She accused the defense of trying to intimidate the victim, even though defense attorneys say they didn't do anything wrong and that the information was public record.

Prosecutors representing the alleged victim asked Judge Watkins to charge their defense attorneys with criminal contempt of court.

Judge Watkins upheld the existing gag order, but said he'd rule on contempt at a later date.

On Friday, Vandenburg turned himself in at the Criminal Justice Center to be booked on a modified state charge against him for tampering with evidence.

He was in custody for several hours because of a paperwork issue, but was later released on his former bond. He will attend the hearing Monday.

In August, officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department arrested Vandenburg along with Cory Batey, 19, of Nashville; Brandon Banks, 19, of Maryland; and Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie, 18, from Mississippi. They were indicted on five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

Police said they raped an unconscious victim inside Vandenburg's room at his Gillette House dorm in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23, 2013.The university was made aware of the situation when officials observing the dorm's hallway surveillance recordings for an unrelated situation saw concerning behavior by the defendants.

Vanderbilt dismissed the players June 29 and kicked them off campus, pending the investigation by the Metro Nashville Police Department's sex crimes unit.

Three other men also faced charges in connection with the incident, including Vanderbilt student and former Commodore wide receiver Chris Boyd.

In September 2013, Boyd was dismissed from the football team, but allowed to stay in school after entering a conditional guilty plea to a role in attempting to cover up the rape. Boyd received an 11-month, 29-day suspended sentence for criminal attempt to commit accessory after the fact, a misdemeanor. The initial charge was a felony.

If he completes probation, his record will be cleared. As part of the plea, he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors to help build the case against the four former football players charged with rape.

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