Former Vanderbilt Players Plead Not Guilty In Rape Case - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Former Vanderbilt Players Plead Not Guilty In Rape Case

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Chris Boyd Chris Boyd

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four former Vanderbilt University football players accused in an on-campus rape have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey, and Brandon Banks waived their right to appear at their arraignment Wednesday, but their attorneys entered the pleas on their behalf. Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie had already entered a "not guilty" plea, and waived his right to an arraignment.

A date for discussions has been scheduled for September 19.

The four men were indicted August 9 on five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg was also charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.

A current player also pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact. An attorney entered receiver Chris Boyd's plea in a separate courtroom. The Commodores' second-leading receiver in 2012 was suspended from the team after his indictment last week.

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said the four defendants raped an unconscious victim inside Vandenburg's room at his Gillette House dorm in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23.

The university was made aware of the situation when officials observing the dorm's hallway surveillance recordings for an unrelated situation saw concerning behavior by the defendants.

Vanderbilt dismissed the players June 29 and kicked them off campus pending the investigation by the Metro Nashville Police Department's sex crimes unit. None of the four played a snap for the Commodores last season, though Vandenburg was expected to play immediately as one of the top junior college tight ends nationally coming out of Xavier College Prep.

Boyd, 21, was indicted August 16 on a felony count of being an accessory after the fact, and police said Boyd took part in an attempted cover-up advising one of the defendants how to cover up the crime. Vanderbilt suspended Boyd, who caught 50 passes for 774 yards and five touchdowns last season, the same day.

On Friday, two other California men were also indicted in connection with the case. 19-year-old Miles Joseph Finley and 20-year-old Joseph Dominick Quinzio, both of California, were charged with one felony count each of tampering with evidence. Police said Finley and Quinzio are acquaintances of defendant Brandon Vandenburg.

Finley and Quinzio allegedly tampered with certain electronic evidence in the case.

Both were jailed in California on $150,000 bond.

Finley declined to waive his extradition hearing in court Wednesday, where the judge reduced his bail to $15,000. A progress hearing was scheduled for October 18 in Riverside.

His defense attorney, Virginia Blumenthal, said she has been in contact with authorities in Tennessee.

Quinzio was still awaiting extradition to Tennessee.

Banks, McKenzie, and Batey were free on bond. Vandenburg remained in jail in lieu of $350,000 bond.

Boyd also remained jailed on $25,000 bond.

The Commodores host Mississippi on Aug. 29 to open the season.

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(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)
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