A former Vanderbilt football player charged with raping an unconscious female student in a dorm room in June 2013 was pressured and bullied into participating, his lawyer contended in the opening of his trial Monday.
In opening statements, defense attorney Katie Hagan said trial jurors must determine if Brandon E. Banks was acting under duress during the rape, which has led to convictions and prison sentences for two of his three teammates also charged in the incident.
On Monday, Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman opened the trial by telling jurors, in graphic detail, that a video shows Banks assaulting the student with a water bottle. Banks’ cellphone also contained 23 of 41 images of the assault, Norman said. At times during the rape, the players responded with laughter and applause, Norman said.
“They’re memorializing each other’s accomplishments in that room — what they were doing, what they were cheering each other on to do, what they were encouraging each other to do,” Norman said in Davidson County Criminal Court. Hagan countered that teammate Brandon Vandenburg “was pressuring and goading” Banks throughout the incident.
That’s right- it’s the ‘I was bullied into being a rapist’ defense… You aren’t responsible for your actions, precious millennial. You’re a rapist because you didn’t want to be teased by your bros.