Prosecutor: Someone trying to intimidate Vanderbilt rape victim - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Prosecutor: Someone trying to intimidate Vanderbilt rape victim

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The district attorney's office is concerned someone is trying to intimidate the alleged victim in the Vanderbilt rape case, and the Channel 4 I-Team found defense attorneys and prosecutors agree it could jeopardize the fairness of a trial.

In an exclusive interview with the Channel 4 I-Team, Davidson County prosecutor Tom Thurman says he is now very concerned about the case against the four former players accused of raping an unconscious student in a campus residence hall.

"It's an attempt to intimidate our victim, I think, to release the information," said Thurman.

The Tennessean reported in December 2013 the victim initially told police she didn't think she had been raped. But prosecutors have said she was unconscious at the time of the alleged attack and suspect Brandon Vandenburg has even been charged with taking pictures of what was going on.

Thurman tells the Channel 4 I-Team the victim is fully cooperating with the investigation.

"She is a very strong young woman, very willing to go forward in this case," said Thurman.

Both Thurman and defense attorney Worrick Robinson, who represents defendant Cory Batey, say they have learned other confidential information may have been released publicly.

They won't go in to detail about what that information is.

"I believe, absolutely, that somewhere someone has intentionally distributed the evidence in an attempt to manipulate the public opinion," said Robinson.

The attorney representing the victim in this case said they don't want to comment at this time but told us they are fully supportive of Thurman and his team.

The Channel 4 I-Team also contacted Vandenburg's defense team for comment about concerns from the prosecutor and other defense attorneys, but attorney John Herbison said that's "bizarre."

"What has been put out recently suggests that no crime occurred at all, and to suggest any defendant has been prejudiced by that is ridiculous," said Herbison.

The Channel 4 I-Team asked Herbison for more information, but he refused, citing previous reporting about his defense team.

Batey's attorney has told the Channel 4 I-Team that he wants his client tried separately from defendant Vandenburg, and he may also try to get a change of venue, saying his client can't get a fair trial now.

That's something Thurman says could happen.

"It will be up to the court to determine if that occurs in this case, and, obviously, it could prejudice the state's right to a fair trial also," said Thurman.

The Channel 4 I-Team also talked with the attorney for defendant Brandon Banks, who said he is also very concerned about these latest developments.

We should mention that Channel 4 is part of a media coalition suing to gain access to certain documents in this case we believe should be public record.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Laurel Police want to warn you about counterfeit money

    Laurel police warn businesses of counterfeit money

    Laurel police warn businesses of counterfeit money

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 11:03 PM EST2017-11-22 04:03:11 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAM archivesPhoto credit: WDAM archives

    Laurel Police want to warn you about counterfeit money being used this holiday season. Recently, a man was taken down in Picayune after being sought after in the Pine Belt for passing fake money to area businesses. Captain Tommy Cox said, "Generally, it's 100 dollar bills. It comes in waves. We will get some and then it will kind of die down a little bit." But, recently Laurel Police Captain Tommy Cox said they have had several reports of fake money floating throughout are...

    More >>

    Laurel Police want to warn you about counterfeit money being used this holiday season. Recently, a man was taken down in Picayune after being sought after in the Pine Belt for passing fake money to area businesses. Captain Tommy Cox said, "Generally, it's 100 dollar bills. It comes in waves. We will get some and then it will kind of die down a little bit." But, recently Laurel Police Captain Tommy Cox said they have had several reports of fake money floating throughout are...

    More >>
  • Girl Scouts urging parents to not force kids to hug relatives, friends this holiday season

    Girl Scouts urging parents to not force kids to hug relatives, friends this holiday season

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 10:56 PM EST2017-11-22 03:56:45 GMT
    Source: Girlscouts.orgSource: Girlscouts.org

    As new sexual harassment stories made headlines everyday, one national organization has a message for parents this holiday season.  The Girl Scouts of USA issued a reminder on it's website for parents ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday when it comes to interaction between your children and other family members or friends at functions. The post is titled "Reminder: She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays."  The "hugs" addressed in the...

    More >>

    As new sexual harassment stories made headlines everyday, one national organization has a message for parents this holiday season.  The Girl Scouts of USA issued a reminder on it's website for parents ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday when it comes to interaction between your children and other family members or friends at functions. The post is titled "Reminder: She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays."  The "hugs" addressed in the...

    More >>
  • Mississippi Ag Player of the Week: Hattiesburg wide receiver Darius Ruffin

    Mississippi Ag Player of the Week: Hattiesburg wide receiver Darius Ruffin

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 10:07 PM EST2017-11-22 03:07:26 GMT

    For a team putting up 49 points a game, Hattiesburg High isn’t lacking in offensive talent. ...

    More >>

    For a team putting up 49 points a game, Hattiesburg High isn’t lacking in offensive talent. ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly