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Former Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty Of Rape And Sexual Battery

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey were convicted Tuesday of raping an unconscious woman in a dorm room in 2013.

Posted on January 27, 2015, at 6:32 p.m. ET

Mark Humphrey / AP Photo

Brandon Vandenburg at court.

On Tuesday, a jury found former Vanderbilt football players Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.

The men were each charged with five counts of rape, and two counts of sexual battery for a 2013 incident in which they raped an unconscious 21-year-old student.

Vandenburg took photos and videos of the incident, which were recovered and shown to jurors during the two-week trial.

The men were drunk the night of the rape, according to their attorneys. The victim was drunk as well, and wasn't aware that the rape had taken place until Vanderbilt's investigation had already began, the Associated Press reported.

The incident came to light when Vanderbilt officials reviewed a dormitory surveillance video following a report of vandalism. When they reviewed the footage, they saw an unconscious woman being dragged into a dorm room. That is when they called Nashville Police, who opened an investigation.

Detectives asked the woman to get a physical examination, but she initially refused, still not knowing what had happened.

Vandenburg and Batey face years in prison when they're sentenced in March. Two other former players are facing charges in the incident, although their trials have yet to be scheduled.

Vanderbilt's Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, Beth Fortune, released a lengthy statement shortly after the verdict was announced:

The jury has spoken. Now it is up to the court to impose an appropriate sentence on the defendants. The conduct revealed by the evidence at trial was profoundly disturbing and utterly unacceptable.

Our heart goes out to the victim. Her testimony was forceful and brave. She has received our care and support.

Many months ago Vanderbilt found both defendants responsible for violating our sexual misconduct policy, and we quickly discharged both of them from the football team and subsequently expelled them from the university. We are confident we acted appropriately.

Since Vanderbilt first reported the incident to the Nashville police, we have given our full cooperation to law enforcement, including the District Attorney's office. We will continue to do so.

The safety and security of our students is Vanderbilt's top priority. Sexual violence will never be tolerated. Incidents will be investigated, victims will be supported, and perpetrators will be punished. We will also continue our comprehensive ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of every Vanderbilt student intervening when another student is at risk or in distress.

The trial of these two defendants has ended, but the legal process continues. Therefore, Vanderbilt will refrain from commenting further.

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