(THE TENNESSEAN) Former Vanderbilt University football player Cory Batey will continue to wear a GPS-monitoring ankle bracelet while awaiting trial on charges of raping a fellow student, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Batey, who appeared in court in a gray suit, is the only one of four former players charged with rape who has been wearing a monitor. He has worn it for about 120 days, after his release from jail in connection with the June 23 rape of an unconscious 21-year-old female Vanderbilt student.
Ordered to wear the bracelet for 90 days, Batey came to court to ask for its removal. After a five-minute hearing, Davidson County Judge Monte Watkins said the monitoring should continue and that he would review the situation in 30 days.
Batey, 19, of Nashville; Brandon Vandenburg, 20, from Indio, Calif.; Brandon Eric Banks, 19, from Brandywine, Md.; and Jaborian McKenzie, 19, from Woodville, Miss., are each charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg also is charged with one count of unlawful photography and tampering with evidence.
All four have pleaded not guilty and are free on bonds ranging from $50,000 to $350,000. The university kicked them off the team and banned them from campus before they were indicted Aug. 9.
Assistant District Attorney General Tom Thurman argued against removal of the bracelet. He said statements Batey made in a jail phone call indicated he might be a flight risk. Batey had made comments about "never coming back to jail," Thurman said.
He told Watkins that Batey could become more of a flight risk as evidence against him continues to be provided to defense attorney Worrick Robinson.
After the hearing, Robinson said Batey's jail comments were not unexpected under the circumstances in which he finds himself.
"Anyone who has never been to jail and who is in there for an extended period of time doesn't like it, doesn't want to stay and never wants to come back," he said.
"I think the comments made by Mr. Batey were very human. I don't know anyone who wants to be in jail, and that's what he said."
Robinson said the cost of wearing the monitor also is an issue for Batey and his family. He said it costs about $400 a month to be monitored.
Batey, who sat beside his pastor and mother in court, spoke briefly after the hearing.
"Under the circumstances, I'm handling it as well as I can, sticking close to my faith and my family," he said.