Brian Bennett has news that a new defense filing in the on-campus assault case involving four former Vanderbilt football players from last June details contact between then-head football coach James Franklin and the defendant in the case.
The attorney for Brandon Vandenburg, one of the four former Vanderbilt football players up on rape charges, requested the charge against his client be dismissed because the state failed to preserve evidence.
Tony Gonzalez's article in the Tennessean details it, including:
• the majority of more than 27,000 messages and 220 calls on the alleged victim's phone, of which just 47 calls or texts were provided to the defense;
• text messages between Vandenburg and the alleged victim, as well as between him and former wide receiver Chris Boyd and co-defendant Cory Batey;
• text messages and phone records from three team staff members — former head coach James Franklin, former director of performance enhancement Dwight Galt, and associate director of athletics Kevin Colon;
• texts and social media posts from players and the victim's friends;
• police interview records with a close acquaintance of the alleged victim;
• DNA test results from another man;
• an interview with the girlfriend of former starting quarterback Austyn Carta Samuels; and
• other police notes and medical records.
The new filing says that Franklin and strength coach Dwight Galt also talked to the female four days after the rape.
Bennett's key paragraph (from Gonzalez's article):
Franklin and Galt told the victim "that they cared about her because she assisted them with recruiting," according to the filing. Later, the defense said, "Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get 15 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."
Franklin and Galt are now both at Penn State and the Nittany Lions head coach didn't want to talk to anyone about the filing.
Here's some background from February where it was thought that Vandenburg was even going as far as saying things against Batey. Batey's attorney claimed the act was to keep Batey from getting a fair trial...
WSMV Channel 4
The case is set to go to trial in August.