Vanderbilt wide receiver Chris Boyd and four former Commodores made their first court appearance in Nashville this Wednesday as they face charges related to the alleged rape of an unconscious woman in a campus dorm room. All five pleaded not guilty to their charges.
Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey, Brandon Banks, and Tip McKenzie are facing charges for aggravated rape and sexual battery. Vandenburg has also been charged with tampering with evidence and unlawful photography related to the event. All four men pleaded not guilty through their attorneys this morning.
Chris Boyd also entered a not guilty plea through his lawyer at the Davidson County Criminal Court. Boyd, who was arrested and suspended from the team last week, is accused of being an accessory to the crime after the fact. Police say that he gave the suspects advice on how to cover up the alleged crime. However, just how far that advice went, and if it was something as simple as responding to a text message from the indicted players afterwards, is still unknown.
These pleas are the latest step in a scandal that seems set to consume Vanderbilt's autumn, but will also hopefully ensure a fair trial for the accused and justice for the victim. We'll continue to have updates as they happen.