NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Convicted rapist and former Vanderbilt football player Cory Batey appeared on “Dr. Phil” Monday on News 2.
Batey, alongside former teammate Brandon Vandenburg, were convicted of raping Vandenburg’s then-girlfriend in Vandenburg’s on-campus dorm room in June of 2013. She was unconscious at the time.
A Nashville attorney and former prosecutor for the Davidson County District Attorney’s office told News 2 he is surprised Batey keeps sticking to his story that he has no memory of the night the victim was raped.
“What it looks like is somebody who has a problem with dealing with what they’ve done,” said Rob McGuire. “The fact he still has that after the trial, I think is striking.”
McGuire, who practices law at his firm MMRS Law, told News 2 that Batey appeared to be sorry when he was interviewed by Dr. Phil but maybe more for what he’s lost.
“I feel he very keenly feels that he let people down, but whether or not he’s fully confronted the horror of what he did, I’m not sure he’s there yet,” McGuire said.
“I think he is desperate to have people look at him, not just as a rapist but as somebody for whom this is not his regular behavior,” the lawyer went on to say. “I think he is trying to explain sort of what happened and why he should not be viewed as this terrible person, and I think that’s the only reason to go on a show like Dr. Phil.”
When asked what he would tell a client in Batey’s shoes about going on a national television show for a jailhouse interview, McGuire said, “In this case where the evidence is so strong against him, I would advise him just tell everything as best you can.”
News 2 spoke with Dr. Phil himself late Monday morning just hours before his exclusive interview with Batey aired.
“We approached him about doing the interview and I think he was quite reluctant about doing it at first,” Dr. Phil explained.
He continued, “I think there are parts of the story that didn’t get told during the trial that he wants out there because I think he feels like what happened that night does not fully reflect who he is as a young man.”
Dr. Phil, who referred to the 21-year-old as “a kid,” said he believes Batey’s motives to do the interview were “pretty pure.”
“I don’t blame him for wanting to get the rest of his story out there,” he said.
Dr. Phil said he also spoke with Batey’s attorney Worrick Robinson, who he believes wants the healing process to begin for everyone involved.
“I believe [Robinson] gets it and truly thinks the reason he allowed this interview to take place is he does want the healing to start. I think he wants it to start with Cory. I think he wants it to start with this victim. I think he wants it to start with Vanderbilt. I think he wants it to start in Nashville,” Dr. Phil explained.
Following the shows airing, Robinson sent a statement to News 2 about the interview with Cory Batey. It read, in full:
After watching the hour long special produced by Dr. Phil and his staff I am completely disappointed. In agreeing to do the sit-down interview I was promised the focus would be on awareness and advocacy. Dr. Phil failed to deliver that.
I granted the exclusive to Dr. Phil hoping to spotlight underage drinking, campus culture, peer pressure and the effects it can have on any high school or college student.
I want to stress Cory did not profit from this interview. No one was paid. I do feel the tragedies of June 23 can and will impact future students and teens, male and female. I just regret that opportunity to effect change was missed today.
Batey and Vandenburg are scheduled to be sentenced on March 6. They face a minimum of 15 years in prison.
Vandenburg’s attorneys have said they plan to file a mistrial motion because the jury foreman did not disclose that he was a victim of sexual assault during the selection process.
Two other former teammates, Brandon Banks and Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, are also charged in the case and awaiting trial. A date has not been set.