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Police: 3 ex-Vanderbilt football players in custody facing rape charges

By Leslie Holland, CNN
updated 6:43 PM EDT, Mon August 12, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Three former players are in custody facing rape charges, Nashville police say
  • A total of four former Commodores were indicted Friday on multiple sex-crime charges, police say
  • The arrests come after an alleged assault that occurred in a university dormitory in June, police say
  • One suspect, Brandon Banks, 19, of Brandywine, Maryland, is still at large

(CNN) -- Three of four former Vanderbilt University football players indicted on charges of rape Friday are now in police custody, according to Nashville Metro Police Department.

The men were indicted in connection with the alleged rape of a 21-year-old student in a campus dormitory in June and are each facing multiple criminal charges, according to authorities in Tennessee.

Charged are Brandon Vandenburg, 20, of Indio, California; Corey Batey, 19, of Nashville; Brandon Banks, 19, of Brandywine, Maryland; and Jaborian McKenzie, 19, of Woodville, Mississippi, according to the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department.

Police said each of the four men is charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg is also charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.

Vandenburg was taken into custody at Nashville International Airport as he flew back into the city, police said. He was then taken to the hospital for a state-mandated blood test before being transported to jail.

There's no word yet on Vandenburg's bond.

Police said McKenzie turned himself in at Nashville police headquarters Saturday morning. He also was taken for the mandatory blood test and is being held in jail on $50,000 bond.

Late Friday afternoon, police officers arrested Batey at his Nashville home. He is being held on $350,000 bond.

The former Commodore players are charged with raping an unconscious female inside Vandenburg's dorm room on June 23. The alleged rape happened in the Gillette House dormitory, police said.

In a statement issued Friday the university said "Our first thoughts are for the victim, a Vanderbilt student, and we convey to her and her family our deepest sympathies and sorrow. We will continue to offer her all of our services and support."

The incident first came to light when university officials checking the dorm's hallway surveillance recordings regarding an unrelated situation observed unusual behavior by the defendants, police said. That prompted a notification to campus police on June 26. That same day, Vanderbilt University Police called Nashville police into the investigation.

Four days later, the four men were dismissed from the football team and suspended from the university amid an investigation. The university and city police announced the dismissals but did not identify the players at that time.

Friday's indictments come after what police said was a nonstop investigation and "tedious and painstaking work" by detectives over the last six weeks.

The university said in its statement that its highest priority is student safety and security, and the university is focused on preventing any future incident like this on campus.

"The charges brought today against the four former Vanderbilt football players allege conduct which is abhorrent and will never be tolerated," the statement said.

An attorney identified in local media as Batey's lawyer could not be reached. It has not been determined yet whether the two men taken into custody Saturday had retained attorneys.

Police said Saturday that Banks, the fourth man indicted, is still at large.

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CNN's Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

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