NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Former Vanderbilt football player Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie spent most of the morning Tuesday on the witness stand testifying against two of his former teammates on trial for rape.
Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey are accused of raping Vandenburg’s then-girlfriend in his dorm room at the Gillette House on Vanderbilt’s campus during the early morning hours of June 23, 2013.
McKenzie was with Vandenburg and Batey and another former teammate, Brandon Banks, on the night of the alleged crime.
All four men are charged with five counts each of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg is additionally charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.
McKenzie told the courtroom he was “not happy” to be testifying against his former teammates, and he referred to co-defendants Batey and Banks as being “like brothers” to him.
He told jurors he didn’t know Vandenburg as well as the others, calling their meeting on the night of June 22, 2013 a “chance encounter.”
McKenzie said he was “buzzed” on the night of the alleged attack after attending a party earlier in the evening with Batey and Banks, but said he was still able to function.
McKenzie’s testimony was graphic when he talked about who did what to the alleged victim, who he claims he did not know.
He admitted to taking pictures while wearing a condom and taking video of the alleged rape but replied, “No, sir” when the prosecutor asked him if he “touched the young lady.”
McKenzie testified that Vandenburg “handed out condoms” and “egged” them on. Later, after the alleged rape, they flushed the condoms down the toilet and Vandenburg told them “it would be okay.”
McKenzie said he told the “partial truth” to investigators who initially questioned him because of pressure he felt from his family. He also didn’t want to get his teammates in trouble.
He told the judge he is “telling the truth now” and did so during his last interview with the district attorney because he “wanted to tell the truth” and “can’t lie anymore.”
Tuesday afternoon Vandenberg’s roommate Mark Prioleau testified that he was in their shared dorm room trying to sleep during the alleged rape.
He stated that he was trying to sleep and that he was “scared and uncomfortable” and that he “did not know what to do.”
The trial for Vandenburg and Batey began last week and is expected to continue for several more days.
A trial date for McKenzie and Banks has not yet been set.