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Boyd pleads to lesser charge; new details on rape case revealed

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Chris Boyd (left) and attorney Roger May appear in court Friday, Sept. 13. (Pool Camera) Chris Boyd (left) and attorney Roger May appear in court Friday, Sept. 13. (Pool Camera)
(Pool Camera) (Pool Camera)
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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Disturbing new information was released Friday in the Vanderbilt rape case as suspended receiver Chris Boyd pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Boyd pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in court Friday morning and he is expected to testify in the cases against Brandon Banks, Corey Batey, Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie and Brandon Vandenburg. He had been facing a felony charge in helping cover up the alleged rape of an unconscious co-ed in a Vanderbilt University dorm room by the other four players.

In court Friday, the prosecutor read texts between the suspects in this case that laid out very disturbing details of what reportedly happened in the early morning hours on June 23.

The state said texts revealed Boyd helped move the unconscious victim after she was allegedly sexually assaulted from the dorm hallway into a bedroom, then he left.

Prosecutors said he quickly deleted a text picture of the victim being sexually assaulted that was allegedly sent to him by Vandenburg.

The texts also indicate there was video of the assault and the victim didn't remember what had happened to her.

The state said Boyd and the four rape suspects, who were dismissed from the Vanderbilt football team and suspended from the school, met at a restaurant and discussed the alleged crime.

"I don't know how good a deal it is for him. If we tried him, he would've been convicted of accessory after the fact, possibly. You heard the fact pattern. It's potentially that nothing he did impacted the case, so he really may have been an attempt to be an accessory after the fact," said prosecutor Tom Thurman. "If he'd been tried, he would've gotten, based on his record, a year, probably. One to two years would've been the max he would've faced."

As part of Boyd's plea deal, he will now testify against the four former players who are charged with the rape and sexual battery of the unconscious victim.

Boyd was given a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days as part of the plea he accepted and will not go to jail. If Boyd completes the probation with good behavior, the charge will be expunged from his record.

"Mr. Boyd is an individual that found himself in a situation that he did not create. He made some mistakes in handling or attempting to help that situation. He has learned a painful lesson," said Boyd's attorney, Roger May.

Boyd, 21, a standout receiver for the Commodores last year, was suspended from the team on Aug. 16 when the indictment against him was unsealed.

Originally from Roswell, GA, Boyd was on the 2013 Biletnikoff Award Watch List for the best college football wide receiver in the country. Boyd's status on the football team has not been announced.

Banks, Batey, McKenzie and Vandenburg were dismissed from the team on June 29 after Vanderbilt and Metro Police officials announced the investigation into the June 23 incident.

In a statement to Channel 4 News on Friday, Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Beth Fortune said:

"As of this date, no additional players have been suspended or dismissed from the football team. Vanderbilt is monitoring the criminal process and has fully cooperated and worked closely with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the Davidson County Attorney's Office at every step of the investigation, and we will continue to do so. As new information becomes available, we will review it and take appropriate action.
 
"Chris Boyd will remain suspended from the Vanderbilt University football team, pending further review by the university. We have no further comment on the matter at this time."

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