College Football

Ex-Vanderbilt player Banks gets 15 years for rape

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday for his role in the 2013 gang rape of an unconscious female student.

Banks was found guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery in June.

Banks is the third former Vanderbilt player sentenced to jail in the case. Brandon Vandenburg previously received a 17-year sentence and Corey Batey was given a 15-year term.

One other player, Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie, also was charged and pleaded not guilty. He testified against each of the other men in hopes of securing a plea deal.

Banks alleged that he feared retribution if he didn't participate in the attack on the Vanderbilt campus. However, 23 images of the rape were found on Banks' cell phone and the victim made it clear he was very much a participant.

The victim didn't attend Friday's sentencing hearing but assistant district attorney general Jan Norman read a statement on her behalf.

"Most of the horrible recollections that I live with are of Mr. Banks," Norman read. "His attempts to minimize the things he did in surveillance and cell-phone recordings after the fact do not change what I have seen and what four juries have seen.

"Four years later he is still proving himself to be the person he is in those photos and videos. I ask this court not to use his transparent attempts to excuse himself as justification for leniency."

Prosecutors suspect the victim was given a date-rape drug prior to the incident. Vanderbilt police were investigating another matter at the dorm and noticed the four players carry an unconscious woman into a room.

The ensuing investigation uncovered more than 40 pictures and videos of the assault on the players' cell phones.

Updated August 18, 2017

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