Update: June 23: GUILTY. Brandon Banks squeeze bottle put the squeeze on him. Jurors did not hold him responsible for, Batey-like charges. One count each for aggravated rape, and aggravated sexual battery.
But lets begin with Mack Prioleau: The one guy who could have stopped this horrible crime.
Mack Prioleau – The most chilling part in the fourth Vanderbilt University football gang-rape trial, this one featuring defendant, Brandon Banks; was testimony from Mack Prioleau. Teammate and Christian, All Saints High School graduate, Mack Prioleau, didn’t comment on the laughter. So much laughter.
So much muffled guffaws and squeals of delight of Prioleau’s teammates. This was something Mack Prioleau pretended to sleep through. So it was the continued loud squeals of sheer glee throughout the ongoing attack, and Mark Prioleau doing nothing, for thirty odd minutes, that got me. Mainly because the laughter began within three minutes of the rapists entering the room.
Mack Prioleau had four years to clean up his testimony. But, exactly how does one “clean up” one’s lack of character? If there is a way, Mack Prioleau certainly didn’t find in time to testify as to why he never acted after initially lifting his head, while listening to the gleeful sounds of a gang rape. A gang-rape that included the sound of urinating on the victim, the sound of bottle squeezes on the victim’s body, the sound of the victim being physically slapped during the gang’s prolonged gang rape. All happening inches from Mack Prioleau. Who did nothing.
Per the UK Daily Mail, four years ago Mack Prioleau told the court that he awoke to sounds of porn, laughing and the men discussing sex and saw the woman face down in the dorm.
Four years ago Mack Prioleau said the victim didn’t make a sound.
Four years ago Mack Prioleau said he didn’t leave to get help or check on her well-being.
‘I was trying to sleep, trying to do whatever I could to block it out of my mind,’ Prioleau said. ‘After it quieted down, I looked down and saw the female on the bed below me.
Eventually, Prioleau said he left the room to stay with a friend and when he returned the next morning, he cleaned up vomit found in the dorm. He only told one friend about what he had witnessed.
‘At the time I was scared and uncomfortable,’ he said. ‘I didn’t know what to do.’
But that was then. This is now.
Fast forward to the fourth trial: Mack’s grown.
But life goes on! Four years later, Mack Prioleau’s become a world traveler. Now, Mack Prioleau has all kinds of advice and tips for a plethora of situations! Check him out. From 10 Vital Tips for international traveling, to shopping to tips for beginner surfers. It seems Mack Prioleau can’t shut up! See all Mack’s tips at Mack Prioleau’s Presentations!
Mack’s living the high life. See his personal, fun life at MackPrioleau.org
My guess was with four years worth of hindsight from world travels, Mack’s testimony might include something a bit more…apologetically reflective. Boy was I wrong.
Prioleau said he didn’t feel pressure. Then offered the same nothing burger as four years earlier. Based on his testimony, Mack Prioleau confirmed he’s as empty on the inside as ever.
Back to the post rape action
Shortly after the gang-rape, Coach Franklin called a meeting. Told the players to “Anchor down.” Shortly afterward, Franklin bolted from Vanderbilt University for a job back at the collegiate national hallmark for child sexual abuse. Penn State. Irony?
Now, three trials and two convictions later, we’re baaaaaaack with the defense in the fourth trial. Brandon Banks said he felt pressure. Because he was little. I am not making this up.
The Fourth trial and the fourth time the victim’s character puts them all to shame
The defense tried to make the case for I don’t know, a bullied, rapist? Much was made of the size of everyone else.
Ladarius Banks, Brian Kimbrow, all testified Brandon Banks, (who was his high school football team’s captain) felt threatened by Brandon Vandenburg. Banks was called “gay” for not wanting to participate in a gang-rape. Gay people were appalled by that.
Also, Banks was not drunk at the time, and had a girlfriend.
Banks laughed. Banks took pictures. Banks, the preacher’s son and high school football captain, squeezed the bottle. Repeatedly.
Referring to the victim, unconscious and vomiting, Banks says he’d never seen anyone that sick before. Or that out-of-it. The inference was alcohol…(although most believed she was drugged.)
The “he made me do it” defense
While Banks mentioned his daddy was a preacher, he appeared not to have made the connection a lifetime of football discipline, including as team Captain, along with his father’s preaching – didn’t matter one little bit, Two minutes after Brandon Vandenburg told Banks to take the bottle and squeeze. Nor did Banks refuse to take pictures of the unconscious woman he physically, sexually assaulted with an empty bottle. Nor did he leave the room. As Prosecutor Jan Norman noted, neither did Brandon Banks text anyone he felt “pressure.”
After testifying, Banks looked a little worse for the wear. He went to his chair. He cried.
Detective Gish testified he found no texts citing a of fear of bullying. Detective Gish did find more videos….and other incriminating evidence that in no way indicated Brandon Banks was worried about being bullied.
Can you say something nice about Banks’ Defense attorney
Sure. Given I once titled a column about the first trial, “Guilty – is it too soon to say “Malpractice” and
Mark Scruggs, unlike prior counsel for the defendants; Brandon Banks’ attorney and former football player, was not criminally charged for financially exploiting a client during trial. Also, unlike prior defense counsel, Scruggs did not lose his bar license.
But Mark Scruggs was also corrected during his close for telling the jurors factually incorrect information. Also, he recovered nicely. But it was when Scruggs began with a background of the law, then mentioned the Magna Carta minutes in, that my thoughts went to Scruggs might have first bored the jurors, but a reference to the Magna Carta might have annoyed the heck out of them.
Update: Scruggs called the verdict “inconsistent.” Expected some guilty counts. But Scruggs said Banks is still ready to fight on a motion for new trial, or appeal. My initial thought was incorrect. But likewise guess a Motion for a new trial will be shot down. An appeal won’t fly. Maybe Preacher Maurice Banks can visit Brandon more often. The victim was in court. Four down, one to go.
The judge commented the jurors looked tired. Maybe they are tired of carrying the burden of four years of delay. Imagine how the victim feels.
Here’s a legal question for you….why wasn’t Mark Prioleau charged with facilitating a rape?
Since he did not confront, or even try to stop the rapists, his behavior directly affected the victim, so isn’t that the same as Banks holding the elevator door open for Vandenburg?
As far as I know, none of our 50 states have laws on the books that compel people to do the right thing…or face prosecution. I don’t believe an inert body could justifiably be described as “facilitating” because there must be some kind of action.
However all 50 states, have “Good Samaritan” laws protecting those who, try to render aid to, say a traffic accident victim…but instead, cause more damage. The old law said helpers cannot be sued in circumstances in that type of situation. That law was recently, tweaked.
Here’s the rub.
So remember….the Good Samaritan has to factor in, Medical Care
Good news. This year a new law in California covers those who try to protect pets.
Just first make a 9-1-1 call.
Then, break the window and get the pet out.😃
If you see a pet in a hot car, Under AB 797, a citizen must first call law enforcement to report a situation in which he or she believes an animal to be in peril.
But if the animal is in imminent danger, the car is locked, and law enforcement is not arriving quickly enough to save the animal’s life, the bill provides immunity from civil and criminal liability to a person causing vehicle damage for the purpose of rescuing the animal.
(The measure was supported by the Humane Society of the United States and the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.)
Thanks Nancy. Appreciate your kind comments. It’s hard to believe it’s still, not over.
Usually defendants are offered deals because of weak evidence. So I have to believe any offered deal, was just to save money.
Spot-on as always, Bonnie – and I totally concur with the last paragraph. Brilliant! It’s hard even for me to watch this so I can’t even or wouldn’t remotely begin to imagine how it’s affecting the victim. Big Ole Brandon Vandenburg isn’t – from what I saw anyway – capable of what might be intelligent, much less premeditated, thinking, i.e. bullying. He’s just not all there and beams that empty “I’m such a good Christian guy” smile. But this little guy knows just what he’s doing and it makes me sick. I don’t remember though – why was he even offered the plea bargain of 10 years? Maybe testimony. We all know there’s photographic evidence and his lawyer is even more absurd than Perez. Anxiously awaiting the verdict tomorrow.
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Gotta add…in the five years I’ve been writing about this case…live streaming of trials went from pretty awesome, to awful. Now, every platform suffers from corporate “ad greed” and when the victims name is mentioned…the live-stream goes blank, doesn’t automatically resume, and then, often goes to a commercial…thus defeating the purpose and the very name, of “Live-Stream.” Please stop.