Skip to comments.Former Long Beach HS Football Star Exonerated in Rape Case (Brian Banks)
Posted on 05/24/2012 1:10:25 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KTLA) -- A judge has vacated the rape conviction of once-promising high school football star Brian Banks after his accuser recanted.
Banks broke down in tears Thursday morning after a brief hearing in which prosecutors said they had no objection to his conviction being reversed.
His mother and girlfriend, who were in the courtroom, let out cries of joy.
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"There are no words in any language, no gesture in any culture that can explain or describe what I have been through," Banks said moments after the dismissal.
"I hope my story brings light to a major flaw in the judicial system. It is time for wrongful convictions to be addressed in the United States."
Back in 2002, Banks was a 17-year-old rising football star at Long Beach Poly Tech when classmate Wanetta Gibson accused him of kidnapping and raping her.
Banks, who had a full scholarship offer to USC, maintained that the sex was consensual.
But at the advice of his attorney, he pleaded no contest rather than risk 41 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.
Gibson subsequently won a $1.5 million settlement in a civil suit against the Long Beach Unified School District.
She claimed that the school's lax security provided an unsafe environment that led to the alleged rape.
In a strange twist, Gibson 'friended' Banks on Facebook when he got out of prison, explaining that she wanted to "let bygones be bygones."
Gibson met with Banks and admitted she had lied, according to court documents in the case.
She also offered to help him clear his name, court documents show.
However, she later refused to repeat the story because she feared she would have to return the $1.5 million settlement.
She reportedly told Banks: "I will go through with helping you but it's like at the same time all that money they gave us, I mean gave me, I don't want to have to pay it back."
The California Innocence Project took on Banks' case based on the new evidence.
"This is a great day for the justice system and for Brian Banks," said Justin Brooks, a professor at California Western School of Law and Director of the California Innocence Project.
"Cases like Brians are the reason I do the work I do. I am grateful to the Los Angeles District Attorney's office for reviewing the evidence and joining us in seeking to end this injustice."
Brooks said Banks had been on probation and under electronic monitoring.
He has also had to register as a sex offender and has had trouble getting a job.
Brooks said that Banks is continuing to train, and still has hopes of a future football career.
I think that what they are not talking about is law suit that was immediately filed against the school district and was probably going on at the same time as the criminal case.
It appears that the law suit and the money was the whole purpose of the accusation. Maybe someone should look into who put the girl up to this, and represented her in the law suit against the school district. I sincerely doubt that this scheming idiot came up with this idea on her own, I bet that there is some drug dealing boyfriend behind the whole thing.
Because women do no wrong. Haven’t you heard?
What God wrote or some organized religion wrote? We humans are less than a dividing cell in God''s eyes. We are insignificant. I think God has more of life than watching us and writing down that I may have masturbated on January 8th 2008 at 8:32.58 pm. If he does he needs to get a life . SRS.
I do believe in God, something created but that's it.
Sorry I don't believe what you do.
You may run into a rotten apple once in a while, but by and large you can tell what a woman is like by dating her for a while before you go farther.
What she like? What are her friends like? What kind of a job does she have? Does she exhibit warning signs? Does she crave the attention of more than one man?
Well, that’s certainly worth looking into. I wouldn’t be surprised if some ambulance chasing attorney sifted through the files and latched on to her but guick.
That's terrible to see.
What if the bad stuff is hidden well?
Yes it is. Here’s a kid that had a lot going for him, and some ding-bat broad took a wrecking ball to his life.
It really angers me when someone bears down and achieves, then gets screwed by some low-life person looking for an income stream at any price, someone else will have to pay.
I don’t honestly know how she could live with herself.
How did he give the advice? I'm not a crim law practitioner, but if a client came to me in his situation, it would be my duty to run all the possible scenarios by him. These are the consequences of a conviction. These are the consequences of a plea.
I'm sure women lie at times,like men, and for sure, numero uno, rapists ALWAYS deny rape...always...
It comes out sooner or later...I can usually tell a good women after a few dates maybe a little longer. It's not that hard.
You can only cut your chances of making a mistake. You can’t micro-manage all negative effects out of your life.
Even inside your own home there are risks. Once you leave the front door, there’s dangers on your own property, and even more as you venture away from it.
Whether it’s relationships, working, driving, traveling..., there’s going to be a chance of something negative happening. What is life, if it is not filled with these things? Isn’t it already a reduced less than fulfilled life?
If you have a positive outlook, you can never be completely defeated. People have thrived or at the very least survived, under almost every negative condition known to man.
micheal jackson didn't give away millions of bucks to some kid just because he liked him....
there's a reason...
I used to know a Los Angeles public defender. He said that if he didn't plea deal 99% of his cases, he'd have been fired. The whole job is running people through the system as quickly as possible.
God does want sex for only those who are married. Your hunch is not confirmed by the Bible.
With extenuating circumstances mentioned on this thread, it would be the duty of the defense attorney to explain to the young man that he had a very good chance of being found not guilty.
That doesn’t seem to have happened. That’s why I have spoken out about what looks to me like legal malpractice.
The district attorney offered Banks a deal -- plead guilty to rape and spend another 18 months in prison, or go to trial and face 41 years to life, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Banks said his defense attorney told him, "'When you go into that courtroom the jury is going to see a big black teenager and you're automatically going to be assumed guilty.' Those are her exact words."
The article says “on advice of counsel” he copped a plea rather than face 41 years if he’d gone to trial and been convicted. The prosecutors had DNA evidence that there had been sex between them; its ‘consent’ was ‘he said, she said.’ Would you have risked 41 years vs. X months, even if you know you were innocent of the kidnap/rape charges?
Once he accepted that plea, the school system became vulnerable and settled with Gibson who, one would assume, will soon be doing her own time behind bars.
That may be the case. If so, I’d find myself a reporter and do an in-depth anonymous interview explaining what is taking place in the legal system.
Once the story was out there, the D.A. would have to deny it or acknowledge the truth of it.
I don’t think you play along and screw people into the dirt just because you want to serve your public defender mandate before you move on.
That’s my take, flawed or not.
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