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Former Vanderbilt Athlete Sentenced to 15 Years for Campus Rape

Audrey Batey, the mother of Cory Batey, testifies during her son's sentencing hearing, July 15, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee.

A former Vanderbilt University football player was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison for taking part in the brutal gang rape of an unconscious student in 2013.

Corey Batey was sentenced Friday in Davidson County Criminal Court, near the Nashville,Tennessee university where the rape took place. Fifteen years was the minimum sentence. Batey was found guilty of charges including aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.

Batey is one of four former football players accused of taking part in the rape of the woman, now 24, who was an undergraduate at the time. She said in court she only learned about what had happened to her while she was unconscious after seeing pictures the football players took of the incident.

One of the suspects also took video, which he sent to friends.

"I've seen with my own eyes what I was when Mr. Batey was done with me: a piece of trash, face down in a hallway, covered in his urine and palm prints, a photograph he took himself," the victim said in court. "Three are no words to describe the horror of the images from that night and how it feels to watch yourself be dehumanized."

Batey's mother also addressed the court, saying the act was out of character for her son. The Nashville newspaper, The Tennessean, quoted her as saying "I couldn't believe it was my son. I really couldn't ... because I know how he cares about people."

Judge Monte Watkins, presiding over the case, called it "one of the saddest cases that I have ever encountered, and I've been in the legal business for 32 years."

Of the other three men charged in the case, two have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. Another was found guilty in June and is set to be sentenced September 30. He faces a sentence of 15 to 25 years.

The sentencing comes shortly after another rape case involving an unconscious woman on a college campus inspired outrage. Former Stanford University athlete, swimmer Brock Turner, was convicted in June of sexual assault and sentenced to six months in a county jail.