On Thursday, the ninth day of the Vanderbilt rape trial, the alleged victim confidently took the stand to testify about the events that took place on the night of June 22, 2013.
Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, two former Vanderbilt University football players, are each charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery for allegedly assaulting the young woman, who is not being identified.
The victim told the jury that she initially did not think she’d been raped when she woke up in Vandenburg’s dorm room. “I felt very out of it,” she said, according to the Associated Press.
“I didn’t feel like myself. I felt very confused. I felt sick and nauseous. I started to develop a really bad headache, and I was also in pain in certain parts of my body.”
But Vandenburg, whom she’d been seeing at the time, told her she’d just gotten drunk and that he’d had to take care of her.
“He told me that I had gotten sick in his room and he had to clean it up and that it was horrible and that he had to spend all night taking care of me and that it was horrible,” she testified, while her alleged rapists looked on.
“I apologized. I was embarrassed,” she added.
That would’ve been it, except that Vanderbilt officials reviewed dorm surveillance video after receiving a report of vandalism. What they saw was much, much worse: A young woman being dragged unconscious into a dorm room. They called the police.
At first, the victim refused a physical examination and when Vandenburg texted her saying he was going to get kicked off the team, she told him she’d protect him.
“I’ll do everything I can to clear your name,” she said in a text message back.
But since then, video has surfaced of the horrific attack, recorded on Vandenburg’s cellphone.
Prosecutors played the video for the jury. “That’s me,” the victim testified, her voice strong, The Tennessean reports.
Two other football players – Brandon E. Banks and Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie – are also charged in the attack and are awaiting trial. All four have pleaded not guilty.