Journalist Defends Using 'Anonymous Sources' In Vanderbilt Story - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Journalist Defends Using 'Anonymous Sources' In Vanderbilt Story

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Bobby Allyn spoke with NewsChannel 5 about his use of "anonymous sources" in a story on Buzzfeed.com about the Vanderbilt University campus rape case. (Copyright NewsChannel 5) Bobby Allyn spoke with NewsChannel 5 about his use of "anonymous sources" in a story on Buzzfeed.com about the Vanderbilt University campus rape case. (Copyright NewsChannel 5)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF-NewsChannel 5) - A local journalist is defending his use of "anonymous sources" in a story that makes serious allegations in connection with the Vanderbilt University campus rape case.

Bobby Allyn's story for Buzzfeed.com introduced some controversial new details to the public-- including an allegation that head coach James Franklin recommended that a player delete a video of the sexual assault.

Allyn has been criticized by some for using anonymous sources, but he defended the practice.

"In a story like this, which is an ongoing criminal investigation, the only way to get people with firsthand knowledge, such as defense attorneys and prosecutors, is to have them be in the story anonymously," Allyn said in an interview with NewsChannel 5.

Allyn said he, along with Buzzfeed, analyzed the sources' motives, and said they were thoroughly vetted.

"I think when people see an anonymous source they assume it was fabricated, but it really did go through diligence before we put it in the story," he continued.

When asked about the report Monday, Franklin called it a very serious issue and said he has cooperated fully with university officials and authorities.

The coach said, "I'm not going to waste your time or mine reacting to baseless statements."

Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey, Brandon Banks, and Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie were dismissed from the team on June 29. They 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.

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.

Three other men also faced charges in connection with the incident, including Vanderbilt student and suspended Commodore wide receiver Chris Boyd.

He was charged with one felony count of being an accessory after the fact.

Authorities said Boyd was accused of taking part in an attempted cover up of the sexual assault through his advice to certain defendants who were already indicted in the case.

Two other California men were also indicted in connection with the case.

Miles Joseph Finley, 19, and Joseph Dominick Quinzio, 20, both of California, were charged with one felony count each of tampering with evidence. Police said Finley and Quinzio were acquaintances of Vandenburg.

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

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(Copyright 2013 NewsChannel 5. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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