Character witness says Batey made mistake, is criminal for life

Cory Batey (Photo: WKRN)
Cory Batey (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – One of the men convicted in the rape of a former Vanderbilt student could get a new sentencing if a judge grants the state their motion for a new judge.

The state argues that 11 character letters were not released before Judge Monte Watkins handed down Cory Batey’s sentence in July.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

News 2 spoke to a former classmate’s mother who wrote one of the letters on Batey’s behalf.

“When I found out that Cory was involved, my heart just dropped,” she said.

Lenore White is an Ensworth mom and knows Batey as a man going places.

“No doubt that this kid would be playing in the NFL if given the opportunity to finish school,” White told News 2.

Lenore White (Photo: WKRN)
Lenore White (Photo: WKRN)

White says going to prison is not of those places which is why she wrote the letter asking for leniency when it comes to his punishment.

“He made a mistake. It was a mistake. I don’t think he is an intentional criminal,” she said.

The letters were the center of a court hearing Thursday morning.

The district attorney’s office wants a new sentencing but Batey’s attorney says they do not make a difference.

“It would be like trying to cross examine a Hallmark card with this type of sentiment,” Peter Strianse told the courts.

“To an extent that this could be called unprecedented, I would disagree with that,” Deputy District Attorney General Roger Moore said.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

In White’s letter, she said she feels Batey will always pay for his mistake.

“He will be a criminal for the rest of his life, even if he got no time. You are registered as a sex offender,” she said.

White added she did not write the letter to take away from what the victim has been through already.

“That night will haunt her for the rest of her life but she also can give back to the community just with her testimony alone,” she said.

She just thinks everyone can help society by speaking out against the things that put them in this situation in the first place.

“Under the influence of alcohol, possibly drugs, one night has changed his life and a young lady’s life and other kids’ life forever,” she said.

White argues the victim is moving on, so it is only right to let Batey do the same and locking him away for 15 years is far too long.

Judge Watkins says he plans to issue his written ruling on the sentencing, and if he will stay on the case, next week.

Click here for complete coverage of the Vanderbilt rape case.

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