Alleged Rape Victim Takes The Stand In Retrial

Posted at 10:35 AM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 12:50:02-04

An alleged rape victim took the stand to testify in the retrial of former Vanderbilt University football player Cory Batey.

She held back tears as she entered court for the first time this week, then walked to the front of courtroom 5A with every set of eyes in the in the room fixated upon her, and just a few feet away sat the man who authorities said raped her: Cory Batey.

READ MORE: Day 5 Of Cory Batey Retrial Underway

She was a 21-year-old senior at Vanderbilt University on June 23, 2013, the day authorities said she was assaulted inside of Gillette Hall and on the witness stand Friday she did her best to maintain her composure as she told a jury about what she's been through, for a second time.

"I woke up in a bed, my clothes were on, my shoes were not there," said the victim who we have not been identifying.

Prosecutor Jan Norman methodically asked the young woman about what she remembered from the moments prior to blacking out after leaving the Tin Roof in Nashville with Brandon Vandenburg, who will be tried separately in June.

"He [Vandenburg] appeared with a blue drink in a cup. The next thing I remember was waking up in a room a really long time later and it was around 8 a.m. the next morning," said the young woman who is now getting her PhD in neuroscience.

"I felt confused and out of it, and I didn't feel like myself, I was in a lot of pain," she recalled, saying that Brandon Vandenburg told her she had gotten sick after leaving the Tin Roof and he had to take care of her for the remainder of the evening.

"I never felt that way in my entire life," she added.

She said she didn't know she had apparently been assaulted until police approached her a few days later and showed her surveillance video in which she was being carried toward room 213 in Gillette Hall where Cory Batey and three other men allegedly assaulted her

The 24-year-old was then asked if she had ever met Cory Batey before that night.

"At that moment when you woke up did you know Cory Batey?" prosecutor Jan Norman said.

"No, complete stranger," she said with a shaky voice.

Cory Batey showed little reaction during the testimony of the woman who he's been convicted of raping once before. That conviction though was thrown out after it was discovered a juror lied about being the victim of rape prior to the first trial.

On Friday, the 14 jurors brought in from Chattanooga listened intensely as the young woman continued to answer questions about the night that changed countless lives back in 2013.

"Do you recognize who's in that photo?" Jan Norman asked as the victim held a cell phone picture taken of her as she lay unconscious, allegedly being assaulted.

"It's me," she whispered in to the microphone, then began to cry as  she was overcome by the 30 minutes of testimony.

Multiple times Judge Monte Watkins told defense attorney Courtney Teasley to "move on" as she walked a fine line trying to cross examine the victim.

"Had you ever blacked out before?" defense attorney Courtney Teasley asked.

"No not like that," the victim responded, being careful to avoid making eye contact with Cory Batey.

"You didn't feel you had been sexually assaulted?" Teasley asked.

"My whole body really hurt," the victim said.

It was unclear if Cory Batey will take the stand in his own defense. The victim was the last witness called by the prosecution.

The retrial can be watched through our Gavel-to-Gavel coverage on NewsChannel 5 Plus and online by clicking here.

Follow @NC5_ChrisConte for the latest developments. *Warning: Tweets may contain graphic language from court testimony.*