NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The trial for the third former football player involved in the Vanderbilt University rape investigation began Monday morning in Nashville.
Brandon Banks, who was a wide receiver, faces six felony charges in the rape and assault of an unconscious female student that happened at an on-campus dorm room on June 22, 2013.
Banks’ defense team told the jury the trial is going to be difficult and they are going to see things that are very unsettling.
“You are going to see some things in the photographs and videos about Brandon Banks that are going to make you mad at him and they are going to make you dislike him,” defense attorney Katie Hagan. “But despite those things, the proof in this case will show you that Brandon Banks is not guilty of the crimes he is charged with in this incitement.”
While the defense states Banks was a victim of circumstance and that his other teammates were responsible, the prosecution says he willingly participated.
“You will hear that during the whole process, the whole incident, they are encouraging each other. They are memorializing each other’s accomplishments,” Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman said.
Two of Banks’ former teammates, Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg, have since been convicted in the rape. Batey is serving a 15 year sentence, while Vandenburg was sentenced to 17 years.
A fourth player, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, is also accused in the case. It is not yet known if or when he will go to trial.