Attorney: Student was bullied into role in Vanderbilt dormitory rape

Brandon Banks in court on Monday June 19, 2017 (WZTV)

A defense attorney said Monday an ex-Vanderbilt football player charged with raping an unconscious female student in a dorm room in 2013 was pressured and bullied into participating.

In opening statements, attorney Katie Hagan said trial jurors must determine if Brandon Banks was acting under duress.

Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman said Monday that a video shows Banks assaulted the student with a water bottle. She said Banks' cellphone contained 23 of 41 photos of the assault.

Prosecutors say Banks not only photographed the victim but participated in the assault.

"You see him, Mr. Banks, reach down and he begins squeezing and twisting the water bottle into her anus." Norman said. "As he's squeezing and twisting it and pressing it into her anus, you hear laughing. They're all laughing."

"You're going to see Mr. Banks take some extremely inappropriate photographs of the victim, extremely," said Defense Attorney Katie Hagen.

Images recovered from Banks cellphone helped convict former Vanderbilt football teammates Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey of raping an unconscious female co-ed, but Hagan says her client isn't responsible for their actions.

"It will be your job to determine weather or not Mr Banks was acting under duress, weather he should be held criminally responsible for the acts of Cory Batey and Brannon Vandenburg," Hagan said.

Two of the four players charged have been convicted and sentenced to prison following jury trials. Prosecutors said the victim will testify again. She has testified in multiple trials and sentencings.

Banks is charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. The 23-year-old has pleaded not guilty.

Banks' trial is set to resume Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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