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Allegations arise about Franklin contacting alleged victim of assault at Vanderbilt

| Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 9:42 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn State head football coach James Franklin talks to reporters during a press conference on the opening day of spring practice at Beaver Stadium on March 17, 2014 in State College.

Defense attorneys for a former Vanderbilt football player charged with rape filed a scorched-earth motion Tuesday asking a judge to dismiss the case or reprimand prosecutors for destroying or failing to preserve evidence.

In a detailed, 24-page filing, the defense team for Brandon Vandenburg wrote that “crucial and material information to the defense of VANDENBURG was destroyed or not preserved.”

Vandenburg is one of four former players each charged with five counts of aggravated rape in what police said was an assault on a 21-year-old female student in Vandenburg's Gillette Hall dorm room June 23.

The defense said evidence provided through discovery included disks with empty file folders and video surveillance in which 55 percent of what was filmed on 14 campus cameras has been deleted.

The filing also includes a new allegation about interactions between the alleged victim and former football coach James Franklin and former director of performance enhancement Dwight Galt — both now at Penn State.

Referring to records, the attorneys said the victim was contacted by Franklin and 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 15 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.”

Franklin, in a statement released late Tuesday, denied any wrongdoing.

“The allegations that I did something wrong are simply not true. I have cooperated fully with the authorities in this matter but, out of respect for the legal process, I am not able to comment any further.”

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