NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After almost 16 hours of deliberation, a jury found Brandon Banks guilty of two of the seven charges against him in the Vanderbilt University rape case.
Banks’ bond was revoked and he was taken into custody immediately after the verdict was read Friday night at the downtown Nashville courthouse.
He was found guilty of one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery.
Judge Monte Watkins set formal sentencing for August 18. Banks could get 15 years in prison.
Prosecutors said the conviction sends a message to young men.
“They need to respect women as human beings in their words and their actions,” said Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman. “That needs to happen from people like these defendants who committed these acts, but also the people who saw it happening and didn’t do anything.”
The defense team is already talking appeal.
“He is still ready to fight this thing. As long as it takes and we have some very good issues on a motion for a new trial or on appeal,” said Mark Scruggs, defense attorney for Brandon Banks.
Banks was originally indicted on five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery and pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
Both the defense and prosecution rested their cases late Thursday morning and gave their closing arguments before the jury began deliberating around 2:40 p.m.
After being unable to reach a verdict by 8 p.m. that night, the jury told the judge they wanted to rest and resume deliberations Friday morning. The verdict came down just before 7:15 p.m. Friday night.
Lane College President, Logan Hampton, released a statement Saturday about the Banks conviction.
Lane College is aware that a conviction has been rendered against Brandon Banks who transferred to the College in August 2015. Lane College decided to extend unexpected mercy upon Brandon Banks and allowed him to continue his education while awaiting his fate in court.
While at Lane College, Brandon Banks has been a model student. He has been well-mannered and respectful and has fulfilled the requirements that were demanded of him. However, a verdict has been reached that disqualifies Brandon from being a member of the Lane College family. It breaks our hearts when young people make bad decisions. Nonetheless, we cannot give up on them as God did not give up on us.
Click here to read the full statement from Lane College about Brandon Banks conviction.
Banks is one of four young men charged in the high-profile case, and now the third to be convicted. Two former teammates, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, were found guilty and sentenced to 17 and 15 years in prison, respectively, last year.
The fourth suspect, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, has testified against all three defendants four times in four different trials. McKenzie has yet to go to trial on the same charges–five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. It’s unknown if or when he will.