NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A district attorney said Wednesday that defense attorneys representing a former Vanderbilt football player accused of rape have filed court documents with baseless allegations designed to intimidate the victim and malign prosecutors.
The remarks by Davidson County District Attorney Torry Johnson cane a day after defense attorneys filed documents accusing prosecutors of destroying or not preserving evidence in the case. The defense motion had asked that charges against former football player Brandon Vandenburg be dismissed while accusing prosecutors of intentionally concealing evidence from the defense.
Vandenburg and three other former Vanderbilt players are accused of gang raping a student in a campus dorm in June. All have pleaded not guilty to charges.
The case has become increasingly rancorous with both the defense and prosecution trading allegations of misconduct against one another.
"This is an obvious tactical ploy by Mr. Vandenburg's attorneys to intimidate the victim and malign veteran prosecutors and experienced police detectives by circulating unfounded allegations that not only can taint a potential jury pool but also prevent the state of Tennessee and the victim from obtaining a fair trial," Johnson said in a statement.
The statement added that Johnson's office had given attorneys for all four former plays "complete access to the investigative file" as the materials have become available.
Johnson added that the defense's claims will be addressed fully in court and his office remains committed to providing all defense attorneys full and open discovery in the case.
Vandenburg, 20, is charged with five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, unlawful photography and tampering with evidence.