The defense team representing one of the four dismissed Vanderbilt football players charged with rape claims that key evidence has gone missing. Among the evidence, according to the Tennessean, is the revelation that former Commodores coach James Franklin allegedly contacted the victim, who was connected to the football program, after the alleged incident.
Referring to records, the attorneys said the victim was contacted by Franklin and (director of player performance Dwight) Galt during a medical examination four days after the rape to explain "that they cared about her because she assisted them with recruiting."
It went on to say that at some point, "Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get fifteen pretty girls together and form a team to assist with the recruiting even though he knew it was against the rules. He added that all the other colleges did it."
The defense has asked for the case against one of the accused players, tight end Brandon Vandenburg, to be dismissed, or for the prosecutors to be reprimanded for destroying or failing to preserve evidence. As it had claimed previously, the defense says much of the evidence in the case has been destroyed. The Tennessean story provides the full list of evidence the defense says is missing.
Nashville's district attorney said in September that there is no evidence of Franklin having tampered with the case.
Franklin left Vanderbilt this year to become the head coach at Penn State.
Update: Franklin has responded.
James Franklin statement: "The allegations that I did something wrong are simply not true. I have cooperated fully with the authorities ...— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) April 30, 2014
Franklin continued "...in this matter but, out of respect for the legal process, I am not able to comment any further."— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) April 30, 2014