Victim’s roommate testifies in Vanderbilt rape trial

Lauren Miller
Lauren Miller

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Vanderbilt rape trial continued Wednesday with testimony from the alleged victim’s best friend and roommate who described what she looked like following the alleged assault.

Lauren Miller told the courtroom she went out with the victim the night before but then didn’t see her again until the next day.

“My immediate reaction was ‘Woah, what happened to you?’” Miller recalled.

She continued, “So just from a physical standpoint, starting from top to bottom, her makeup was completely disheveled, the one thing I very clearly remember was the state of her hair. She had had it curled the night before and I remember being like, ‘Did you go jump in a pool?’”

“It looked like it had gotten completely wet,” Miller explained. “It was matted. It was frizzy. It had a really weird texture to it and I remember holding her hair and just being like, ‘What the heck happened?’”

Miller also said she had a gash on her leg.

She added that she was in a “completely different state” compared to when she met Vandenburg at the Tin Roof the night before.

She said she felt very ill and was mentally “out of it.” Miller said she’d never seen her best friend that way before.

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey (Jan. 21, 2015)
Brandon Vandenburg, left, and Cory Batey in court on Jan. 21, 2015.

Former Vanderbilt football players Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey are on trial for raping Vandenburg’s then-girlfriend during the early morning hours of June 23, 2013. She was unconscious at the time.

A crime analyst testified co-defendants Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie and Brandon Banks’ finger prints were found on a condom box from alleged rape. There was a third fingerprint that didn’t have enough detail to identify.

All four men face five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery in the case. Vandenburg faces an additional charge of tampering with evidence and unlawful photography.

Jurors also heard testimony from former Vanderbilt athletes Michael Retta and Dillon Van Der Wal.

Retta, a member of the tennis team, said he saw the alleged victim naked during the early morning hours of June 23, 2013.

He said he also saw Vandenburg and described him as “extremely fidgety” and “not acting normal.” He said he was “disheveled” and “pacing.”

Van Der Wal, a then-teammate of Vandenburg and Batey on the football team, also testified he saw the alleged victim with “handprints on her buttocks.”

Defense attorneys countered that neither athlete reported what they saw to police.

Reporter Chris Bundgaard is in the courtroom. Follow him on Twitter for live updates.

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