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The Ugly Truth about the 'Vandy Rape'

I want to cry.  I just finished reading an article by Stacey Barchenger who writes for The Tennesean about the Vanderbilt rape victim.  Until now, I had not read the horrible ugly truth about the Vandy rape case.  What I had read, was two former Vandy football players were charged and subsequently convicted of criminal charges including that of aggravated sexual assault.   I attributed the crime to a night of drinking.  I thought about how sad it was that these young men were going to lose so much of their lives because of stupid choices they might have made.  I kept thinking about the young men, and all that awaits them in prison.  I wondered why on earth they would resort to rape.   Admittedly I felt terrible for them.  Yes, for them.  I do not believe I feel the same anymore.  Although, I still feel badly that they made such a terrible choice, my thoughts and empathy are now with and for the victim.

What lead me to read the details of the Vandy rape case?  I was interviewing someone who happened to bring up that she never in her life read about anything so gruesome.  She did not feel for the young men, but for the victim.  I wondered how we might be seeing things so differently.  I thought the young men made a horrible mistake because they drank too much.  Yes,  she thought so too but she shared that the rape was so horrible.  She felt that the young men should pay dearly for what they had done.  Until tonight I thought about the defendants, and I had not focused my attention on the victim.  I’m not sure why that is.  Until tonight, I might have failed to consider the horrific reality. I felt sympathy for the defendants because of the horrific sentence they now face.

Assuming its all true, what has been written and that which was told by the victim I am not sure what penalty is appropriate.  The jury had said that the video was enough to have them find the defendants Brandon Vandenburg, 21 and Cory Batey, 20 both guilty of raping the woman.  What Stacey Barchenger describes in her article is horrible.  I cannot even imagine what it must have been like for the victim to see herself be degraded  by someone she actually dated, and a man she did not know.  I’m speechless, almost numb when I think about the victim and what she went through.    Its a horrible shame that these men did not understand the meaning of respect.

Even if these men were drunk, it does not excuse what they did.  It cannot excuse it.  What is the appropriate sentence?  Sometimes the CJ System works in a way to make an example of defendants to show the world that a certain crimes will not be tolerated.  This might be one of those times, when the sentencing will be done to set an example.  Hopefully, the harshness of the sentence will be heard round the country and others who dare contemplate such an egregious act will think first.  Rape is NOT okay.

To read the article by Stacey Barchenger click on this link


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