Ex-Vanderbilt Football Player Sentenced to 17 Years for Campus Rape

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Vanderbilt Rape Trial
Photo: GEORGE WALKER IV—AP

A former Vanderbilt football player who encouraged his teammates to rape an unconscious female student was sentenced Friday to 17 years in prison under a law requiring aggravated rape convicts to serve 100 percent of their time behind bars.After the hearing, prosecutors said they hoped the sentences handed down would send a message that people who commit these types of crimes on campus will be held accountable.

Victims should know that there are people on their side — whether police, prosecutors or judges— Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said.

“That’s what I would like to see taken away from this — that justice is going to be served,” Moore said.

Surveillance video showed Brandon Vandenburg helping to carry the woman into his dorm room, where testimony showed he handed out condoms to three of his teammates and egged them on. The 23-year-old former player also took cellphone videos of the June 2013 dorm room rape and emailed them to friends in California while the crime was ongoing.

He was found guilty in 2015 but that verdict was overturned after lawyers learned that the jury foreman had not revealed that he had been a victim of statutory rape. Vandenburg was convicted again in June, on five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of unlawful photography.

He faced a sentence of 15 to 25 years in prison, and his victim had asked for the maximum punishment.

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