- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Two friends of a former Vanderbilt football player accused of rape testified Wednesday that they received text messages that included videos of the alleged sexual assault.

The two California men said they received the text messages containing video footage from Brandon Vandenburg in June 2013.

Miles Finley told jurors he didn’t know at the time that the alleged rape was ongoing as he was receiving the graphic videos.

“You’re gonna get in trouble,” Finley replied in a text to Vandenburg after seeing the video clips. “She could call rape .,” another text sent by Finley said.

Joseph Quinzio described the videos he received in the text messages as “horrific” and “surprising.”

Vandenburg and Cory Batey, along with two other former football players, are accused in the rape of an unconscious 21-year-old neuroscience major in a dorm room at the Nashville university. All four have pleaded not guilty.

Vandenburg’s defense team has argued that the graphic videos show other people assaulting the unconscious student. Prosecutors have maintained that Vandenburg can be held criminally responsible for rape if he encouraged it. Defense lawyers have said that both Vandenberg and Batey were extremely drunk at the time.

Quinzio and Finley testified that Vandenburg came to California and confiscated their cellphones after the dorm room incident. Finley said Vandenburg even tried unsuccessfully to use software to wipe the contents off Quinzio’s computer.

Police were able to recover the texts and videos even though they had been deleted from the phones.

Both Quinzio and Finley were charged with tampering with evidence. After his testimony, Quinzio pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of attempted accessory after the fact.

The guilty plea allows him to be on unsupervised probation for 11 months and 29 days. He will be allowed to get the conviction wiped off his record if he successfully completes probation.

Under cross-examination, Quinzio acknowledged that Vandenburg was so drunk that he didn’t even know what he’d sent in the texts.

The defense also pounced on one of the texts Finley sent to Vandenburg. The text Finley sent read: “Dog, kick that b–h out or gang rape her.”

The state could rest its case as early as Thursday.

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