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Brandon Banks found guilty of 2 charges in Vanderbilt rape trial

A Nashville jury on Friday found 23-year-old Brandon Banks guilty of one count of aggravated rape and another count of sexual battery, WTVF-TV reports.A jury on Friday convicted a former Vanderbilt University football player charged along with three of his teammates in the 2013 gang rape of an unconscious female student.The jury found Banks not guilty on five of the charges. Brandon Vandenburg was sentenced in June 2016 to 17 years in prison, while Corey Batey was sentenced in April 2016 to a 15-year sentence.Banks testified at his trial, and claimed he had taken part in the attack out of fear of retribution from teammates that night and later on the football field.According to AP, Banks testified he was bullied into participating, although there was video evidence showing otherwise, which the prosecutors dismissed.In a telephone interview, Mr. Banks’s lawyer, Mark Scruggs, said he planned to ask the judge for leniency, and if that failed, he would appeal.”Mr. Vandenburg was pressuring and goading Mr. Banks”, defense attorney Katie Hagan said during opening statements, arguing that he was acting under duress at the time.A fourth ex-player testified against the others and still awaits trial.Banks now faces up to 15 years in prison for the aggravated rape charge alone.He added that Banks also left the woman lying on the ground in the hallway in the early morning hours “like a piece of trash laid out for the garbage collectors to pick up”.The verdict was handed four years after the sexual assault happened in a dorm room on campus. I mean if that’s the case, then we’d have the “football team defense'”. Banks admitted to sexually touching her and said that he penetrated her with the bottle because Vandenburg told him to. He also said he touched the victim and took photos.Wednesday’s trial marked the fifth time she testified against her assailants, according to AP. Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey and Jaborian McKenzie are the other three men complicit in these actions.She described the night at Tin Roof Bar four years ago, where prosecutors said her boyfriend Vandenburg gave her a blue-colored drink.”He is the classic example of someone who has been abused by a group, whether it be a football team, a fraternity, or any other group nowadays, that requires complete loyalty, complete obedience”, Scruggs said in closing arguments.The defendants in the Vanderbilt case have come to trial amid a nationwide debate about sexual assault on colleges campuses that intensified previous year when a former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault was sentenced to what some said was an unreasonably lenient sentence of six months in jail.