Three months after being found guilty of raping an unconscious woman in a retrial, former Vanderbilt football player Cory Batey was sentenced on Friday, July 15 to 15 years in prison. While it’s true he should absolutely be punished for his crime, it’s interesting to note that the Stanford swimmer, who was white, was sentenced to a mere six months for the exact same crime.
Batey was found guilty in April for a second time of aggravated rape and assault by a Nashville jury, but a mistrial was declared in the case last June after it was determined a juror was biased after withholding the fact he was a victim in a statutory rape case.
Batey and Brandon Vandenburg raped the woman in January 2013 in Vandenburg’s dorm room. The victim has testified she does not remember anything about the incident after sipping a drink given to her by Vandenburg at a bar. Surveillance footage showed several players carrying her into Vandenburg’s room and taking pictures of her around 2:30 a.m. She awoke the next morning in Vandenburg’s bed.
According to The Tennessean, Judge Monte Watkins said the case was “one of the saddest” he has worked in his career. He’d weighed thousands of cases and in each considers a sentence that was fair for the victim, the defendant and their families.
The victim also spoke during the hearing. “I was fearful of giving a victim impact statement at all because I know that after three years and everything that has happened, I can never do it justice, and I’m scared of that failure,” the woman said. “It will never be possible for anyone to put into words how this has affected me. You will never understand what this has done to me if you aren’t standing in my shoes. The humiliation, the pain, the isolation, being reduced to nothing but a piece of flesh right before your eyes, it does something to you that is truly impossible to describe.”
Batey, 22, apologized to the woman, his family and Vanderbilt. Batey, who testified he did not remember the incident after a night of drinking, called it an “unintentional tragedy.” He has been in custody since April.
The victim had been dating Vandenburg for a few weeks prior to the night of the incident. In Vandenburg’s trial, prosecution said Vandenburg encouraged his teammates to rape her and even passed out condoms and filmed the rape as it happened.
After the incident, Vandenburg met with teammates to align their stories and went to other lengths to cover his tracks, including going to his home state of California to destroy evidence.
Like Batey, Vandenburg faces 15-25 years in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 30.