The investigation into an alleged sexual assault that involved members of Vanderbilt’s football team took on a different tone Friday when indictments were issued for three more individuals, one of whom is a star player.
Wide receiver Chris Boyd was charged with one count of being an accessory after the fact, a felony, because he allegedly counseled others about how to cover up what took place during a June 23 incident on campus.
He is expected to surrender to police and bond has been set at $25,000.
The indictment is the first of a player on the roster in relation to this incident, the investigation into which by the Metro Nashville Sex Crimes Unit continues.
Also indicted were Miles Joseph Finley, 19, of Bermuda Dunes, California, and Joseph Dominick Quinzio, 20, of Palm Desert, California. The two, acquaintances of Brandon Vandenburg, were charged with one felony count each of tampering with evidence.
Vandenburg, a junior college tight end who signed with the program following last season, was one of four former players indicted a week earlier. The others were Brandon Banks, Cory Batey and Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie.
All four were dismissed from the team and the university after allegations that they raped an unconscious woman in Vandenburg’s on-campus dorm room.
A third-year junior, Boyd started all 13 games in 2012 and caught 50 passes for 774 yards with five touchdowns. His athletic touchdown catches in the Music City Bowl and in a victory over Tennessee drew national media attention. He caught a team-high eight touchdown passes as a freshman in 2011.
In two years he has caught 81 passes for 1,247 yards and 13 touchdowns. He and Jordan Matthews form the SEC’s most productive tandem of returning receivers. The two have been dubbed The Flyboys.
He is the first player not recruited by coach James Franklin connected to the alleged incident.
Vanderbilt opens the 2013 season against Ole Miss, Aug. 29 at Vanderbilt Stadium (8 p.m., ESPN). The team cancelled Friday night's practice but the Saturday session will be go on as scheduled.
Beth Fortune, the university's vice chancellor for public affairs, issued the following statement:
“Today’s indictment reflects the hundreds of law enforcement hours that have gone into this case thus far, and the absolute seriousness of this entire matter,” Chief Steve Anderson said. “I also reiterate that this investigation, as District Attorney General Torry Johnson said last week, remains open and active. We are looking at all persons who may have been involved in this event, before, during and after the fact. Additional charges cannot be ruled out.”
Today the Davidson County District Attorney charged Chris Boyd, a member of the Vanderbilt football team, with accessory after the fact related to the incident that occurred in a Vanderbilt residence hall June 23. The charges follow those announced Aug. 9 stemming from the same incident. All of these allegations, including those brought today, are deeply troubling, and we take them very seriously.
Pursuant to the athletic department conduct policy, Mr. Boyd has been suspended from the football team, pending further review.
We continue to respect that at this point in the criminal justice process no determination of guilt has been made. We continue to cooperate closely with the District Attorney’s office and Metropolitan Nashville Police Department."