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On Friday, a Tennessee judge gave former Vanderbilt University football player Cory Batey the lightest sentence allowed by law, 15 years in prison, for brutally raping an unconscious woman along with three other accomplices three years ago.
Despite the relatively light sentence compared to the 25 years the defendant asked for, Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins called it, “one of the saddest cases that I have ever encountered, and I’ve been in the legal business for 32 years.”
The Tennessean reports that Watkins justified his choice of punishment by weighing how it would affect all parties involved in the case. “All of the defendants in this case basically have life sentences,” Watkins said. “After they get out of jail or prison they will be on the sex-offender registry for the rest of their lives. That’s a life sentence in and of itself.”
Batey, 22, at least will have to serve all 15 years of the sentence.
On June 23, 2013, four men raped the 21-year-old student while she was unconscious on a dorm room floor. As police gathered evidence, they were able to tell the victim details of what had actually happened to her along with graphic photographs and videos of the attack. The footage was taken by the other players using their cell phones, one of whom even sent the footage to friends as the rape was happening.
Before Friday’s ruling, the victim described the life sentence she now has to endure. Through sobs, she explained that “sexual assault was not where the attack ended. Mr. Batey continued to abuse and degrade me, urinating on my face while uttering horrific racial hate speech that suggested I deserved what he was doing to me because of the color of my skin. He didn’t even know who I was.”
“On June 22 of 2013, I was a happy, hard-working Vanderbilt student looking forward to my future. I was 21 years old. I’ve seen with my own eyes what I was when Mr Batey was done with me: a piece of trash, face down in a hallway covered in his urine and palm prints,” she said.
According to The Tennessean, prosecutors acknowledged that a racial statement was made in previous court hearings, but never said publicly in court.
It’s hard not to wonder why hate crime charges weren’t introduced, but then the victim is white and Batey is black, so…
Multiple sources told The Tennessean On Friday that Batey said, “That’s for 400 years of slavery you b—-.”
One accomplice, 23-year-old Brandon Vandenburg, was found guilty on all eight counts against him and is scheduled to be sentenced September 30. The other two, Brandon E. Banks and Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, have yet to be tried but have pleaded not guilty.
For his part, Batey did “apologize” to the victim on Friday, saying, “I hope that if not today maybe one day you would find it in your heart to forgive me for any damages I may have caused.”
He then called the attack an “unintentional tragedy.”
How about a hate crime?
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