Home News Judge Grants Mistrial in Vanderbilt Rape Case

Judge Grants Mistrial in Vanderbilt Rape Case

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Judge Grants Mistrial in Vanderbilt Rape Case

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Wednesday, a judge granted a mistrial in the case of two men, both former Vanderbilt football players, convicted in the dorm-room rape of a student.

Attorneys for former College of the Desert football player Brandon Vandenberg and his Vanderbilt teammate Corey Batey claimed a juror withheld information about his past during the jury selection process.

Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins agreed and ruled in their favor on Tuesday saying,¬†“Actual bias has been clearly shown.”

Via ESPN:

Defense attorneys said the juror, 31-year-old Todd Easter, intentionally withheld information that he was a rape victim during the jury selection.

Easter testified at a hearing last week that he didn’t withhold information because he doesn’t consider himself a victim.

In his ruling, Watkins said “actual bias has been clearly shown.”

“Our system of justice cannot tolerate a trial with a tainted juror regardless of the strength of the evidence against the defendant,” Watkins said.

A Sumner County man was convicted of raping Easter when he was 16. However, Easter testified that his relationship with the man was consensual and that his parents were the ones who pressed charges.

The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of alleged sexual crimes, but Easter, who was the jury foreman, agreed to have his name included in news stories.

The attorneys for the defendants called Easter”deceitful and manipulative,” and claimed that he ¬†had an agenda.

Defense attorneys are expected to ask for their clients bonds to be reinstated Wednesday morning.  Prosecutors say they will seek a new trial date.

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