Defense attorneys for former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Vandenburg say that former Vanderbilt and current Penn State coach James Franklin contacted the alleged victim four days after the incident.
Vandenburg is among four players who are charged with five counts of aggravated rape against an unconscious 21-year-old woman. The incident happened June 23 in Vandenburg's dorm room on the Vanderbilt campus.
The detail about Franklin's contact with the woman was released as part of a 24-page scorched earth motion filed by Vandenburg's attorneys Tuesday.
Referring to records, the attorneys said the victim was contacted by Franklin and (former director of performance enhancement Dwight) Galt during a medical examination four days after the rape to explain "that they cared about her because she assisted them with recruiting."
It went on to say that at some point, "Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get fifteen pretty girls together and form a team to assist with the recruiting even though he knew it was against the rules. He added that all the other colleges did it."
When reached via phone Tuesday, Franklin told the Tennessean he wasn't interested in talking. In September, the district attorney said there was no evidence that Franklin was involved in a cover-up involving the case.
Franklin later released a statement through Penn State.
"The allegations that I did something wrong are simply not true," Franklin said in the statement. "I have cooperated fully with the authorities in this matter but, out of respect for the legal process, I am not able to comment any further."
In November, Vandenburg's attorneys requested text message records from coaches. Texts and phone records from coaches are listed among the key evidence that attorneys said Tuesday wasn't preserved. The list also includes thousands of messages and over 100 phone calls from the alleged victim's phone, texts between Vandenburg and two other former Vanderbilt football players and other information. The attorneys also say that video evidence was deleted from campus surveillance cameras.
In addition to Vandenburg, Cory Batey, Jaborian McKenzie and Brandon Banks are also charged. Chris Boyd was charged with helping to cover up the incident but pled to a lesser charge in exchange for his testimony against the four players.
Franklin, who grew up in Pennsylvania, became the Penn State coach in January. At his introductory press conference, he said he was up front about the rape allegations.
“It couldn’t have been a more thorough interview process. We discussed everything. [That was] the most challenging thing I’ve ever been through personally – as a father of two daughters – and professionally. We were honest. We were up front and we made decisions quickly and tried to do everything we possibly could to respect the situation with the utmost class,” Franklin said.
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