Judge unseals character letters written in Vandenburg’s defense

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) -On Thursday, Davidson County Judge Monte Watkins unsealed part of the Vanderbilt football rape case file.

News 2 has received copies of character letters for former Commodore player and convicted rapist Brandon Vandenburg.

In November, Judge Watkins sentenced Vandenburg to 17 years for his role in a 2013 dorm room rape of a female student.

Vandenburg’s mother, father and brothers wrote several character letters in his defense.

His brother Matthew Vandenburg said, “It makes me upset that all he has worked for is down the drain and I think about it all the time. The only thing good that came out of this situation is that I know not to drink EVER and to hang out with the right people.”

Vandenburg’s mother also wrote the judge, saying that she prays for the victim in the case daily.

“I pray for her healing and restoration of her happiness and joy. What I can say is that Brandon had zero intention of any harm coming to this young woman. He is guilty of not intervening and that was and is a terrible immoral decision,” she said.

A large group of family friends also wrote letters in defense of a short sentence.

“I can honestly say that I think he is the most polite and kind young man that I have ever met,” said one couple who has known the Vandenburg family for over 20 years. “We beg you, You Honor to please give Brandon a second chance in life.”

One former coach wrote, “Brandon is, in short, a good person, who yielded to a sophomoric and an undeniable intoxicated and mindless lapse of judgement the night of the incident.”

Vandenburg is currently being held at Bledsoe Correctional Complex in Pikeville, Tennessee before being placed at a permanent facility.

After leaving the East Tennessee facility, he will be taken to another state prison where he will serve the remainder of his 17-year sentence.Click here for complete coverage of the Vanderbilt rape case.

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