Vanderbilt dismisses WR Chris Boyd for role in rape case

Chris Boyd had 774 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in 2012. (USATSI)
Chris Boyd had 774 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in 2012. (USATSI)
A fifth Vanderbilt player has been dismissed in the school's ongoing response to the alleged rape of a female Vanderbilt student.

The Commodores announced Tuesday that wide receiver Chris Boyd is no longer part of the team, saying in a statement that Boyd's "admitted actions are clearly inconsistent with the high standards of behavior expected of our student-athletes." The Roswell, Ga., native was indicted in August on a felony accessory charge, then reached a deal with prosecutors Sept. 13 in which he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for testifying against the four former Vanderbilt players charged with rape.

Boyd had been suspended from the team following his indictment and was dismissed after the school's "ongoing review" in the wake of his guilty plea. Boyd's misdemeanor conviction saw him sentenced to just under a year of probation but no jail time. The conviction will be wiped from his record at the end of his probation.

As part of the court hearing surrounding Boyd's guilty plea, prosecutors released a graphic and set of accusations (reproduced by The Tennessean) against the junior wideout. Police said that Boyd viewed an image of the victim with an object inserted into her anus texted to him by then-Vanderbilt tight end Brandon Vandenburg. Per prosecutors, Boyd told Vandenburg in texts to "delete that s---" and "tell your roommate he didn’t see s---." 

Per a Boyd text reproduced as part of the prosecutors' statements, Boyd, Commodore quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuel and tight end Dillon van der Wal arrived at the dorm and helped carry the unconscious student from the hallway back into Vandenburg's dorm room. But prosecutors Tuesday said that Boyd had "misidentified" Carta-Samuels and that the Vandy starter had not been present after the alleged attack.

According to prosecutors, Boyd would later meet with the four defendants -- Vandenburg, Brandon Banks, JaBorian “Tip” McKenzie and Cory Batey -- at a Popeye's chicken restaurant to discuss the incident.

Per prosecutors, Boyd "was not completely truthful with the police or the district attorney’s office in initial interviews by omitting details of two conversations he had with Mr. Vandenburg in which Mr. Vandenburg made incriminating statements to Mr. Boyd. He later came forward and gave additional information about these conversations."

Boyd was Vanderbilt's second-leading receiver in 2012 with 774 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Carta-Samuels and van der Wal are listed as witnesses for the prosecution in court documents. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin declined comment to The Tennesseean when asked about the case ahead of his team's game with South Carolina.

Vandenburg, Banks, McKenzie and Batey have each been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

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