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Vanderbilt rape trial continues, videos and text messages shown to jury

NASHVILLE — Sexually explicit videos showing the alleged attack on a female student in a dorm room were played for jurors Monday, Jan. 18 in the rape trial of two ex-Vanderbilt football players.

The video was shot from the cellphone of Brandon Vandenburg during the June 2013 incident, a Nashville police detective testified. Text messages that included the graphic video clips were sent to two of Vandenburg’s friends in California while it was taking place, Detective Chad Gish told jurors.

“When it first comes on, we can hear a bunch of giggling going on,” Gish said during testimony about one of the videos that jurors saw. Vandenburg can be heard encouraging another player during one of the videos played.

Four former players have been charged with the rape of an unconscious coed. All have pleaded not guilty.

Vandenburg and Cory Batey are being tried this week on five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg is additionally charged with tampering with evidence and unlawful photography.

Brandon Banks and Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie are also charged in the case. McKenzie is scheduled to testify against Vandenburg and Batey on Tuesday.

The players are said to have used their cellphones to take still images and shoot video of the alleged attack on the student.

Testimony during the trial so far has revealed the technological power police have when it comes to retrieving deleted text messages, videos and pictures.

Gish testified last week that he was able to retrieve images that had been deleted off the cellphones of three of the players.

The video clips played for the jury were retrieved from the laptop of Joseph Quinzio, a friend of Vandenburg’s from Palm Desert, Ca.

The text messages with the graphic videos were sent to Quinzio and Miles Finley, of Bermuda Dunes, Ca.

Gish testified that Finley had wiped his cellphone and “appeared to be trying to destroy something” on it.

Quinzio and Finley are both charged with tampering with evidence.

Gish said a recovered voicemail shows that Vandenburg called Quinzio just after the alleged attack. In the message, played for the jury, Vandenburg said he was in trouble and added “you’d better call me back,” Gish said.

Under cross-examination, Gish acknowledged that the videos did not show Vandenburg having sex with the woman.

Defense attorneys for Vandenburg and Batey have said that the video involvement by Banks but not by their clients.

The defense teams for both former players have said the trial will show their clients are not guilty. But they also have said that the former students were drunk and have repeatedly said there was a culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex at school.

The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday morning.

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