A Tennessee judge has sentenced a Vanderbilt University football player to spend 15 years behind bars for raping an unconscious woman in a dorm room, as reported by WKRN.
ESPN reported that Brandon Banks received the minimum sentence on Friday. In June, a jury convicted Banks of aggravated rape and sexual battery for his role in the 2013 gang rape.
While Banks claims he was bullied into participating, photos and videos showed him penetrating the victim with a water bottle and leaving the unconscious woman on a hallway floor. A 49-second video captured the four men raping the woman while laughing and encouraging one another, Crime Online previously reported.
Two other players involved in the rape, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, were sentenced to 17 and 15 years in prison in 2015. The victim testified that the last thing she remembered was receiving a drink from Vandenburg, who she was dating at the time. She has no recollection of the assault.
“She has made it through it, she has persevered, she has gotten stronger through every step of the way, and she continues to be strong,” prosecutor Jan Norman said of the woman, who has testified on five occasions. “These people that did this to her, they’re not getting away with it, and it’s because of her.”
Denying prosecutors’ requests for a lengthier prison term, Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins noted that Banks had no prior criminal record and said he tries to “look at the entire individual” when sentencing.
The fourth man facing charges, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, testified against his teammates in hopes of getting a lighter sentence. McKenzie is also facing five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. However, WKRN has reported it is unclear when—or if—he will go on trial.
[Featured Image: Police Handout]