Statement of Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Beth Fortune on Jan. 27 verdict

The jury has spoken. Now it is up to the court to impose an appropriate sentence on the defendants. The conduct revealed by the evidence at trial was profoundly disturbing and utterly unacceptable.

Our heart goes out to the victim. Her testimony was forceful and brave. She has received our care and support.

Many months ago Vanderbilt found both defendants responsible for violating our sexual misconduct policy, and we quickly discharged both of them from the football team and subsequently expelled them from the university. We are confident we acted appropriately.

Since Vanderbilt first reported the incident to the Nashville police, we have given our full cooperation to law enforcement, including the District Attorney’s office. We will continue to do so.

The safety and security of our students is Vanderbilt’s top priority. Sexual violence will never be tolerated.  Incidents will be investigated, victims will be supported, and perpetrators will be punished. We will also continue our comprehensive ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of every Vanderbilt student intervening when another student is at risk or in distress.

The trial of these two defendants has ended, but the legal process continues. Therefore, Vanderbilt will refrain from commenting further.