NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Another chapter closed in the Vanderbilt rape case Friday with Brandon Vandenburg being sentenced to 17 years in prison.
It may be removed from the headlines, to a degree, but it will never be erased from the people who were part of it.
News 2’s Eric Egan sat down with Worrick Robinson, who defended Cory Batey in the case and is now sharing his experience and how he’s using it to prevent future assaults.
Robinson’s time is now divided among several commitments. It was a much different story when Batey was going through trial in the rape case.
“You can’t have one foot in. It consumes your life, and it consumed my life for three years,” he said.
For the first time, Robinson—a father of a college-aged son—is talking about the impact of the trial on himself.
“These kinds of cases take years of your life. They’re intense. They’re stressful,” he said.
His family felt the strain, too.
“They saw the toll it took… and they saw it up close and personal, and it’s devastating,” Robinson noted.
The trial set a precedent for video evidence with the crimes caught unmistakably on camera.
Robinson says he doesn’t know if he’d take on a case like this again, but he never doubt his role in Batey’s defense.
“I always believed Cory Batey deserved a second chance,” he said.
He knew Batey well, yet also a father to a daughter in high school, Robinson says victims of sexual assault deserve a bigger voice than they’re getting.
“You will continue to have schools that minimize it and try to cover it up,” he said, “and they don’t need that black eye or that blemish.”
Robinson is now speaking to college groups, students, coaches, and anyone who will listen to warn them of the dangers that work their way into the student-athlete culture.
“Young men and women, you can tell them, but sometimes they need to see something that almost scars their brain,” he told News 2.
“The youth has to understand—this can happen to you,” he added.
The trial was tragic; it will always be seen that way. A new perspective is what’s needed, and Robinson hopes his experience can provide that.
“The only good thing in this case is that perhaps seeing this video, discussing this case, seeing a presentation, will actually convince these young people, that it could be me,” Robinson said.