The charges in the sex-crimes investigation that has rocked Vanderbilt football were formally handed down Friday against four players who have since been kicked off the team. And as you might expect, the incident was about as ugly as it could get.
Four former Vanderbilt football players have each been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery, Metro police said Friday.
Brandon Vandenburg, 20, from California; Brandon Eric Banks, 19, from Maryland; and JaBorian "Tip" McKenzie, 18 from Mississippi and Cory Batey, 19, of Nashville, were charged in the indictment. Vandenburg was also charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.
There aren't too many details in the report, except that the woman was unconscious at the time of the alleged rape. And while prosecutors aren't elaborating on the photography charge, it's not hard to figure out what it likely entails.
According to The Tennesseean, Batey is under arrest and Banks' lawyer is already working on getting him to turn himself in. The other two players are likely to follow suit.
There's not much more to say right now. If the charges are true, it's obvious that James Franklin made the right decision to dismiss the four players from the team last month, but that's been obvious for some time now. The details are simply that -- details, giving us a fuller picture of what Franklin was looking at when he made his decision.
Please keep the victim in your thoughts and prayers. This kind of incident can alter someone's life for years to come, and recovery is often long and uneven. The football players alleged to have taken part in the incident will see their lives turned upside down too -- but if the charges issued Friday are true, they made their choices. They're just not the only ones who have to live with them.