NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For 28 minutes in the early morning hours of warm June day in 2013, a young female student lay unconscious inside of a Vanderbilt University dorm room at times being sexually assaulted by at least two former football players and on Tuesday jurors watched 45 seconds of the graphic rape recorded on an iPhone, as the trial of Brandon Banks continued.
Banks, who was a former Vandy football player and freshman at the time of the rape, is on trial for his alleged role in incident that has rocked a prestigious university and sent his former teammates Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey to Jail. The 23-year-old is facing aggravated sexual assault charges for his apparent involvement in the rape.
The lights were dim inside of courtroom 5A, as nearly two dozen grainy, graphic thumbnail images flashed across a 72" monitor sitting in front of jurors. Metro Nashville Police Detective Chad Gish sat on the witness stand describing in detail what the jury was seeing. Snapshots in time of the moments the female student, who at the time was a college senior, was seen lying nearly naked on the cold concrete floor of dorm room 213.
"I found images that appear to be a sexual assault ... this is the victim laying face down, her skirt pulled up and her shirt pulled up," Detective Gish told the jury.
Another disturbing image flashed on the screen, as Brandon Banks looked on emotionless from a seat next to his two attorneys.
"You see what appears to be a leg and a water bottle that appears to be inserted inside of her," Gish said, his voice dropping.
The jury was then shown the video that broke this case wide open for investigators. A short video clip recovered from an iPhone, shot at 2:38a.m.
In audio you can hear Brandon Vandenburg instructing who prosecutors say is Brandon Banks, to sexually assault the victim with a water bottle, "squeeze that s---, squeeze that s---," you can hear Vandenburg saying, as laughter can be heard from all of the young men inside of the dorm room.
The burden of proof is on the prosecution but legal analysts have long argued it would be difficult for any of the men accused to recover after the video was shown in court.
"So your investigation revealed two minutes of data related to a 28 minute event?" defense attorney Mark Scruggs asked Detective Gish.
"That's correct," Gish responded.
On Tuesday a forensic expert also testified that she did not find Banks' DNA on any clothing she examined belonging to the victim or to the victim herself.
Banks' one time friend and former teammate Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie who is also charged in the case was also called to the stand Tuesday. He told jurors that it appeared the victim had been "drugged."
Prosecutors asked McKenzie if he remembered who assaulted the victim with a water bottle, he simply responded, "Brandon Banks."
The victim, who has now had to experience four of these grueling trials is expected to testify in the coming days. It's unclear if Banks will take the stand in his own defense.
For the latest updates inside the courtroom, follow reporter Chris Conte on Twitter. Warning: some content could be graphic in nature.