Exclusive: Vanderbilt Rape Suspect Speaks Out - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Exclusive: Vanderbilt Rape Suspect Speaks Out

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by Nick Beres

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A former Vanderbilt football recruit and his new legal team are speaking out for the first time and attacking the prosecution.

Brandon Vandenburg and three other incoming players were charged with aggravated rape and sexual battery stemming from an alleged attack on a 21-year-old Vanderbilt student in an oncampus dorm.

"It's been extremely difficult for me. I came to play football and a great education.  That would be the reason to come to Vanderbilt and that's not what I got," said Vandenburg in an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 5.

"I'm innocent and I'm going to fight that to the very end," said Vandenburg.

 He won't be alone. NewsChannel 5 has learned two members of his local legal team have dropped out to be replaced by Fletcher Long and John Herbison.

"I'm going to tell you that Brandon Vandenburg is a fine young man," said Long.

Long and Herbison join California attorneys Albert Perez and Eugen Osko. The legal team wasted little time challenging filings and statements made by the prosecution in the case that have gone public.

"There are two sides to this event. They are hearing one side from the empty wagon rattling the loudest," said Long, who added that the defense teams is out to level the playing field.

Long and Perez challenged a motion filed last week by Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman asking that Perez be removed from the case as an unindicted co-conspirator alleging he may have had a hand in the destruction of evidence in the rape case.

"The indictment doesn't mention that. It's a red herring," said Long.

"All we are doing is defending Mr. Vandenburg. Give me the evidence and let me defend my client," said Perez, who calls Thurman's filing ridiculous.

Perez believes prosecutors filed the motion challenging him in response to his complaint that they have not provided all the evidence from discovery needed to defend his client.

"I think we would like everything the government has and based on our investigation we know they have more than they are giving us," said Perez.

Defense attorneys want -- among other things -- all of the text messages collected from coaches or witnesses pertaining to the case. They also said they have seen the key video evidence from the dormitory the night of the attack and said it proves nothing.

Long and Herbison have been in involved in several high profile criminal cases including the Perry March and the Wooded Rapist.

Email: nberes@newschannel5.com
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