According to the Associated Press, a fifth Vanderbilt player has been formally charged with a felony in the rape of an unconscious 21-year old girl. Starting wide receiver Chris Boyd has been charged with one felony count of being an accessory after the fact in a sexual assault investigation. He tried to help now-former tight end Brandon Vandenberg cover up the rape in a case that has already forced coach James Franklin to dismiss Vandenberg and three other Commodores.
“All of these allegations, including those brought today, are deeply troubling, and we take them very seriously,” Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Beth Fortune said in a statement.
Boyd was not the only person facing fresh charges on Friday. Two of Vandenberg’s California friends, 19-year-old Miles Finley and 20-year-old Joseph Quinzio, are charged with felony tampering with evidence.
Vandenberg, along with Corey Batey, 19, of Nashville; Brandon Banks, 19, of Brandywine, Maryland; and Jaborian McKenzie, 19, of Woodville, Mississippi have been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.
There is no word yet as to what Franklin will do with this latest blow. He has already acted swiftly with regards to the four previously charged by dismissing them and expressed deep remorse from his position as the leader of this football program.
Boyd finished second on the team in 2012 in receptions (50), receiving yards (774) and touchdown catches (five). Opposite All-American candidate Jordan Matthews, the two were poised to form the most dynamic one-two receiving tandem in the SEC in 2013.
Football may wind up being far from Boyd’s mind, however. Facing the felony charges as he is, Boyd may have to prepare for possible jail time if he is eventually found guilty.