Plea Deal Options For Vanderbilt Rape Case

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jun 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 01:12:31-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - There have been more questions than answers about what happens next in the Vanderbilt rape case.

NewsChannel 5 has learned that the alleged victim said she's apparently ready and willing to go through another trial if needed.

But sources close to the case said there's a very good chance another trial will not happen.

This comes despite the fact that District Attorney Glenn Funk has said otherwise.

"I expect this case to go to trial," said Funk just days after the judge declared a mistrial on the original convictions of Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg because of misconduct by a juror.

That may change in the coming weeks. There's no question attorneys for Batey and Vandenburg would consider other options.

"I can't imagine anybody really and truly wanting to try this case again," said Batey's attorney Worrick Robinson after his client's release Wednesday.

"If any plea is made we are obligated to talk to our client about those. Of course it depends on what type of plea offer is made," said Randy Reagan, Vandenburg's attorney.

Sources told NewsChannel 5 two options would likely be on the table: attempted aggravated rape, which would carry 8-12 years, and attempted aggravated sexual battery, which would carry 3-6 years.

Both come with a chance of parole after 30 percent served, and both Vandenburg and Batey would be placed on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry.

Those options were a far cry from the 15-25 year sentences the two could have faced at sentencing before the mistrial.

"If they are able to secure a plea bargain for less than 20 years that's a win for Vandenburg and Batey," said NewsChannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo.

But would they accept? There was no deal the first time.

It's not clear if either defendent was offered, but after spending time behind bars they might listen.

"I think I can say without a doubt that type of incarceration changes an individual," said Robinson.

So, why would the prosecution consider a deal? As we've seen they have a strong case, but a plea keeps the alleged victim from having to do it again. It could also save taxpayers the cost of another trial, and it means no appeals. This case would finally be over.

Neither the defense attorneys nor prosecutors commented further on any potential plea discussions.

District attorney Funk said he's looking to set a date for a new trial in September.