NASHVILLE,Tenn. – There has been a stunning new development in the Vanderbilt rape case. NewsChannel 5 obtained a letter detailing the results of the university's own investigation into what happened and one very important finding differs from police.
"This is very important," said Fletcher Long, Brandon Vandenburg's attorney.
Vandenburg is one of four former incoming football players who were charged this past August with aggravated rape stemming from an alleged attack on a 21-year-old student in an on-campus dorm.
The Metro Nashville Police Department made the case and the four were indicted. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt University conducted its own investigation.
In a surprising revelation, Michael Carter, the EAD compliance officer who investigates complaints against students on campus, sent a letter to Vandenburg outlining his findings.
Carter wrote: "Based upon our investigation there is insufficient evidence upon which to find that you engaged in non-consensual sexual intercourse."
"That means if there was sexual intercourse at all-- it was with the alleged victim's consent," said Long, who added that such a scenario is not aggravated rape. "They certainly conclude he didn't commit the most serious offenses of which he is charged."
The university found Vandenburg violated the alleged victim's privacy by making a video of a sexual nature. It also named him as an accomplice to other students involved in sexual misconduct.
The university's findings have no bearing on the pending criminal case against Vandenburg. Still, Long said he wonders how they could reach such a different conclusion on the rape charge than police.
"There's no reason to believe they have any less information than what the Metro Police Department has," said Long.
There are indications the other three suspects in the case also received letters from Vanderbilt. Their attorneys could not be reached for comment. There's no word on the findings with regard to them.
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