Former Vanderbilt Football Player Found Guilty of Orchestrating His Girlfriend's Gang Rape

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Vandenburg betrayed his girlfriend who trusted him by encouraging others to violate her.

The Guardian reports (opens in new tab) that Brandon Vandenburg, a former football player at Tennessee's Vanderbilt university, has been found guilty of orchestrating a gang rape of his girlfriend in his dorm room. 

The jury deliberated for four hours in the case before returning with a guilty verdict of five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, and one count of unlawful photography. The 22-year-old now faces a potential jail sentence of up to 25 years. 

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Vandenburg betrayed his girlfriend who trusted him by encouraging others to violate her. They said he plied her with alcohol and then passed out condoms to the other players. He then took videos and sent it to friends as the rapes occurred.

ABC News (opens in new tab) previously aired surveillance video that showed Vandenburg carrying the victim out of a car and into the dorm, where you can see three football players waiting.

As for the defense, they claimed the newly-arrived recruit simply asked teammates outside the dorm to help him carry the unconscious woman into his room after he couldn't get her into her apartment.

"Mr. Vandenburg maybe could have stopped it," defense attorney Randy Reagan told jurors (opens in new tab). "But the state is asking you to find Mr. Vandenburg criminally responsible for the actions of people he didn't know minutes before all this happened."

This is not the first time Vandenburg has been found guilty in this case; last year, he and former teammate Corey Batey were convicted (opens in new tab), but the verdicts were thrown out after a juror did not disclose that he had been a victim of statutory rape.

Four former players were all charged in the case, with two of them accused of raping and sexually assaulting the woman, including Batey who was found guilty of aggravated rape and other charges.

Laura Beck
Laura Beck

I write on Fox’s THE GREAT NORTH. Before that, I wrote and edited for Cosmopolitan (opens in new tab) magazine and the Jezebel (opens in new tab) blog. My writing has also appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, VICE, Marie Claire, McSweeney’s, California Sunday, BUST, Elle, Village Voice, Harper’s Bazaar, LA Weekly, Eater, Fast Company, Mic, Atlas Obscura, and more. I co-host/co-produce a comedy/storytelling (opens in new tab) show on the first Friday of every month at Stories in LA. I have a degree in Film and TV from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.