5 Vanderbilt Football Players Dismissed, Charged with Rape and Sexual Battery

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2013

Five Vanderbilt football players who were suspended by the university have now been dismissed from the school. 

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6:25 p.m. ET

The Tennessean's Brian Haas has the latest:

Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson said former Vanderbilt University wide receiver Chris Boyd was not testifying that his quarterback helped move an alleged rape victim back into a dorm room on June 23 when he entered a guilty plea in the case last week.

“What he was asking was, the factual statement by Mr. Thurman, that the text sent and received, that those texts in fact were sent and received,” Johnson said at a news conference this afternoon.

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UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 6:19 p.m. ET

Following the dismissal of WR Chris Boyd, Susan Niland, a spokeswoman for the DA's office, released this statement regarding Austyn Carta-Samuels reportedly being misidentified in the case, via Brian Haas of The Tennessean:

“At the recent plea agreement of former Vanderbilt football player Chris Boyd, text messages were read that Boyd had sent and received from other individuals. One text from Boyd to former student Corey Batey read in part ‘me Carta and Vanderwal and Vandenburg helped us move her out of the hallway’, referring to the victim who was lying in the hall of the dorm. However, based upon the evidence collected to date, Boyd wrongly identified student Austyn Carta-Samuels as someone who participated in helping move the victim. Carta-Samuels and Dillon Vanderwal are both listed as witnesses in the rape case against four former Vanderbilt students. Vanderwal and another student were involved in moving the victim from the hall to a dorm room, but that act alone does not constitute a crime.”

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UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 9:42 p.m. ET

Brandon Vandenburg, one of the Vandy player to be arrested and accused of raping a 21-year-old, has been released from jail according to Brian Wilson of the Tennessean. He was the last one to be released. 

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UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 12:15 p.m. ET

The Associated Press has a major update on the legal proceedings around four former Vanderbilt football players.

Four former Vanderbilt football players have pleaded not guilty to raping an unconscious woman at a campus dormitory.

Cory Batey, 19 of Nashville, Tenn.; Brandon Banks, 19, of Brandywine, Md.; Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie, 19, of Woodville, Miss.; and Brandon Vandenburg, 20, of Indio, Calif., pleaded not guilty to several charges, including five counts of rape.

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UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 19, at 10:43 p.m. ET

Steven Boyd, the father of indicted suspended Vandy player Chris Boyd, is not happy with the Nashville District Attorney's office according to Jeff Lockridge and Tony Gonzalez of The Tennessean

The father of indicted Vanderbilt football player Chris Boyd is frustrated with the Nashville District Attorney’s office over what he claims is irreparable damage to his son’s character and integrity.

Steven Boyd said his son, a 21-year-old starting wide receiver for the Commodores from Roswell, Ga., cooperated during “two or three meetings” with authorities. He said his son was shocked Friday afternoon to learn he was being charged as an accessory after the fact in the rape of an unconscious female student on June 23 in a campus dorm.

“Whatever they want, they could have gotten without indicting my son,” Steven Boyd said on Monday while in Nashville to meet with Chris and their attorney, Roger May. “I don’t know how he gets his name back. He’s 21. I don’t know how someone repairs their integrity and character after this. There is nothing bigger.”

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UPDATE: Saturday, Aug. 17, at 11:13 a.m. ET

From Metro Nashville PD:

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UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 16, at 5:18 p.m. ET 

The Tennessean has the latest on the Vanderbilt situation:

The continuing investigation into a June 23rd sexual assault of a Vanderbilt University co-ed in a campus dormitory today resulted in the indictment of three additional persons, Vanderbilt student and Commodore wide receiver Chris Boyd and two California men.

Vanderbilt released a statement concerning Boyd specifically:

Today the Davidson County District Attorney charged Chris Boyd, a member of the Vanderbilt football team with accessory after the fact related to the incident that occurred in a Vanderbilt residence hall June 23. The charges follow those announced Aug. 9 stemming from the same incident. All of these allegations, including those brought today, are deeply troubling, and we take them very seriously.

Pursuant to the athletic department conduct policy, Mr. Boyd has been suspended from the football team, pending further review.

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UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 1:31 p.m. ET 

Brian Haas of The Tennessean has the latest on the proceedings against four ex-Vanderbilt football players accused of rape:

One of four ex-football players at Vanderbilt University, JaBorian McKenzie, has pleaded not guilty to the five rape charges against him.

Late Tuesday, McKenzie entered the plea and waived his arraignment appearance, scheduled for Aug, 21. The action was entered into the court record Wednesday morning.

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UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 12, at 6:37 p.m. ET 

From Brian Haas of The Tennessean:

The four ex-Vanderbilt University football players charged have been scheduled to appear in court Aug. 21. While defendants have the option of skipping those hearings, it is the first time they or their attorney are given an opportunity to formally hear the charges and enter a plea in the case. 

Haas also reports that both JaBorian McKenzie and Brandon Banks have been released on bond, while Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey remain jailed on $350,000 bond. 

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UPDATE: Saturday, Aug. 10, at 6:46 p.m. ET 

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin addressed the situation after practice on Saturday:

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UPDATE: Saturday, Aug. 10, at 11:40 a.m. ET

ESPN has the latest update on the situation:

Police have two more of the former Vanderbilt players in custody following their indictment on five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery involving an unconscious student at a campus dormitory in June.

Brandon Vandenburg, 20, of Indio, Calif., was booked into the Davidson County jail early Saturday morning, while receiver Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie, 19, of Woodville, Miss., was booked Saturday morning. Vandenburg's bond is $350,000 for a total of nine charges, including tampering with evidence and unlawful photography.

Safety Cory Batey, 19 of Nashville, was arrested Friday and also is being held on $350,000 bond. Defensive back Brandon Banks, 19 of Brandywine, Md., has yet to be taken into custody

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UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 9, at 6:35 p.m ET

From Mike Organ of The Tennessean:

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UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 9, at 5:30 p.m ET

Brian Haas of The Tennessean provides an update on the situation:

Four former Vanderbilt football players have each been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery, Metro police said Friday.

Brandon Vandenburg, 20, from California; Brandon Eric Banks, 19, from Maryland; and JaBorian “Tip” McKenzie, 18 from Mississippi and Cory Batey, 19, of Nashville, were charged in the indictment. Vandenburg was also charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Monday, July 15, at 4:32 p.m ET by Tom Kinslow

Vanderbilt released a statement confirming the dismissal of Brandon Banks, Cory Batey, Jaborian McKenzie and Brandon Vandenburg from the team. Head coach James Franklin also made comments on the program's actions.

For student athletes at Vanderbilt, it is a privilege, not a right, to be a part of the program. My coaching staff and I make sure every member of our team understands that. We insist on high standards of personal responsibility and integrity, and there are consequences when those standards are not met. 

"In dealing with this matter, the Commodores football team will continue to hold itself to the same high standards of responsibility and integrity Vanderbilt demands of all of our students. 

"We are cooperating fully with the Nashville Police Department and have pledged not to say or do anything that could interfere with its work or compromise the rights of anyone involved. We have not prejudged anyone's guilt or innocence." 

---End of update---


Original Text

ESPN reported the dismissal on Saturday: 

Vanderbilt has dismissed four football players from the team and kicked them off campus while Nashville police investigate whether a sex crime occurred in a campus dormitory.

School officials say the players can't return to campus "without explicit permission" from the school's office of student conduct and academic integrity.

Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said Friday that the university's decision was related to the police investigation.

The players' names have not yet been released. In a public statement, Vanderbilt's official website confirmed the report and promised "further action" if the transgressions prove serious enough. 

Vanderbilt University today announced that four members of its football team were suspended earlier this week for violation of team rules. As additional facts become known, Vanderbilt will take further action, if and as warranted.

Because of Vanderbilt’s ongoing investigation, the university will offer further comment when appropriate.

Under head coach James Franklin, the Commodores enjoyed one of their most successful seasons in recent history in 2012. In his second season, the 41-year-old Franklin led a renaissance in a program that has historically struggled. After starting the campaign off 2-4, the Commodores reeled off seven consecutive wins (first nine-win season in nearly a century). 

Vanderbilt defeated North Carolina State 38-24 in the Music City Bowl to cap off the late-season run, just their third bowl win in school history. Last season marked the second consecutive bowl game under Franklin, a first for the program. They finished No. 23 in the Associated Press poll, the first time since 1948 the team ended a campaign inside the Top 25. 

Franklin returns next season with expectations high for a repeat performance. While there is still plenty to be investigated in this matter, the Commodores will certainly feel the blow of losing four players should the suspensions last into the 2013 season.

Neither Franklin nor any member of the Vanderbilt athletics staff have made a comment on the matter at this time. 

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