NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Nashville judge has ruled that a former Vanderbilt University football player’s 15-year sentence in the gang rape of an unconscious fellow student can stand.
Prosecutors had asked Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins to order a new sentencing hearing with a different judge after they learned that 11 people had sent letters in support of Cory Batey directly to the judge.
The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/2cUR3Zn) Watkins on Friday said he was not biased when he handed down the minimum sentence allowable.
Watkins said members of the public routinely send letters on behalf of criminal defendants. Although prosecutors said they had been unaware of the letters, they were in the public case file.
Co-defendant Brandon Vandenburg was also found guilty in the rape. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.