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Former Vanderbilt Football Player Convicted In Rape Retrial

Brandon Vandenburg was accused of encouraging and recording his teammates while they raped an unconscious woman he was dating. This was the second time he was tried and convicted in the case.

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A former Vanderbilt football player accused of encouraging his teammates to rape an unconscious woman was found guilty on all charges Saturday.

Attorneys for Brandon Vandenburg have argued in court their client was drunk at the time, and shouldn't be held responsible for his teammates, who raped a woman Vandenburg was dating while he passed out condoms.

The former football player was accused of also recording the assault.

Vandenburg's former teammate, Cory Batey, was also convicted in April after a retrial.

On July 15, a judge sentenced Batey to 15 years in prison — the minimum term.

"It is one of the saddest cases that I have ever encountered. And I’ve been in the legal business for 32 years," Judge Monte Watkins said at the sentencing hearing, according to the Tennessean.

Prosecutors accused Vandenburg of pushing the victim to drink, and then encouraging his teammates to sexually assault her while she was unconscious.

During the trial, prosecutors argued Vandenburg continued texting the victim, while trying coordinate with his teammates about covering up the crime, The Tennessean reported.

At one point, Vandenburg searched online, "can police recover deleted picture messages."

On Saturday, a jury convicted Vandenburg on all charges, including five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and unlawful photography, the Associated Press reported.

It took the jury four hours to come to a verdict, The Tennessean reported. Vandenburg faces a possible sentence of 15 to 25 years behind bars.

This was the second time Vandenburg was tried and convicted in the case. His conviction last year was thrown out after one of the jurors did not reveal he had been a victim of statutory rape.

Four former players were charged in the case, including two who faced rape and sexual assault charges.

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Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Salvador Hernandez at salvador.hernandez@buzzfeed.com.

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