Because a juror didn’t disclose that he was a victim of statutory rape, a Nashville judge granted a mistrial for Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, two former Vanderbilt football players found guilty of rape in January.
Juror No. 9 did not disclose his history during the voir dire process. The juror said he didn’t think of the case, which happened when he was 16, calling it “inconsequential.”
The juror testified on Monday, saying he did not reveal the case when asked in jury selection if he knew victims of sexual assault because he did not consider himself a victim. He said he was 16 and consented to the relationship with a man who was seven or eight years older, and his parents pressed for the case to be prosecuted.
The defense argued that the case did matter and that it’s unlikely the juror forgot about it, mentioning that the juror went to counseling for 18 months afterward. The prosecution argued that the juror didn’t use his personal experience to persuade other members of the jury, but Watkins ruled in favor of Vandenburg and Batey.
The judge’s order is in full below.
Contact the author at email@example.com.