Testimony continues in Vanderbilt football rape trial
(Daily Mail) NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A former Vanderbilt football player accused of raping an unconscious student has described how his teammates slapped and urinated on the woman while her boyfriend encouraged them to assault her.
Jaborian ‘Tip’ McKenzie, 20, took the stand in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday to testify in the rape trials of his former teammates Brandon Vandenburg, 21, and Cory Batey, 20.
McKenzie is also accused of raping the woman in the Vanderbilt dorm room in June 2013 but he insists he never touched her. He and another defendant, Brandon Banks, 20, are awaiting trial.
On Tuesday, he described in graphic detail how he went to the Gillette dorm with Batey and Banks after a night of heavy drinking at two different parties and came across Vandenburg and the woman.
The couple had been on a date earlier that evening but she had passed out in the car on the ride back to campus after drinking too much, according to previous testimony.
McKenzie said the woman was taken into Vandenburg’s dorm room and then he saw Batey starting to sexually assault her as Vandeburg ‘coached’ them on what to do, according to updates of the testimony shared by Tony Gonzalez of The Tennessean.
Vandenburg said he was too ‘amped’ on cocaine to be able to have sex with her but ‘egged on’ the others and switched on porn, McKenzie told the court.
‘To my knowledge he knew what he was doing,’ he said of Vandenburg.
The former player recalled how both Batey and Vandenburg slapped her on the behind before Batey urinated on her.
‘Cory Batey slapped her behind a few times and made the statement that she might wake up,’ McKenzie told the court, The Tennessean reported. ‘Vandenburg said she’s not gonna wake up, and he went over and slapped her behind.’
Prosecutors showed the jury two videos taken of the alleged assault. McKenzie hung his head as they played.
He admitted that he had been laughing during the incident.
‘At the time, it was’ funny, he said. ‘When I look back on it, it wasn’t funny.’
McKenzie claimed he never touched the woman – although he did take one of the condoms passed around by Vandenburg and admitted to taking a photograph of her.
He left the room with Banks, his roommate, and headed to the bathroom, where they flushed the condoms away, he said.
‘Banks and I were freaking out,’ he told the court.
The following day, the group met to get their stories straight, he said. They agreed to hide ‘the bad thing’ that had happened in the room.
During cross-examination, the defense highlighted the number of times McKenzie’s statements have changed, including over the use of cocaine and whether Vandenburg touched the student.
‘I had pressure from family members not to tell and these guys were my best friends,’ he said of Banks and Batey. He had not met Vandenburg before the night of the incident, he said.
McKenzie, who has a baby daughter, said that he hopes his testifying leads to a lesser punishment.
After McKenzie testified, Vandenburg’s roommate took the stand to testify about the incident. He was in the room on his bunk for the duration of the alleged attack.
Mack Prioleau told the court that he awoke to sounds of porn, laughing and the men discussing sex and saw the woman face down in the dorm.
He said she didn’t make a sound. He didn’t leave to get help or check on her well being.
‘I was trying to sleep, trying to do whatever I could to block it out of my mind,’ he said. ’After it quieted down, I looked down and saw the female on the bed below me.’
Eventually, he left the room to stay with a friend and when he returned the next morning, he cleaned up vomit found in the dorm. He only ever told one friend about what he had witnessed.
‘At the time I was scared and uncomfortable,’ he said. ‘I didn’t know what to do.’
Testimony in the case will continue on Wednesday.
The men’s testimony on Tuesday came after the jury was shown footage obtained from the dorm room that revealed the group laughing and Banks assaulting the woman with a water bottle.
The building’s surveillance footage, which was discovered when officials were looking into vandalism, prompted the rape investigation.
Defense attorneys last week pointed out that the video portrays a culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex that their clients were caught up in.
The alleged victim is also expected to take the stand for the prosecution.
Vandenburg and Batey are being tried on five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg is also charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.
The two players not on trial but also charged in the case, Jaborian ‘Tip’ McKenzie and Brandon Banks, are expected to testify against Vandenburg and Batey. All have pleaded not guilty.