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.
All the more reason I’m glad I don’t date. But the void’s as big as the vacuum of space though...
Woman do lie about issues like this and when I hear of someone going public with these accusations I always have a wait and see attitude......too bad this happens because woman do get raped and it is a lifetime traumatic experience........
Bad things happen when you do things God tells you not to do. God knows what He is talking about.
I appreciate the comments. I agree with them. That’s about all you can do, as far as the reaction goes.
Wow. Whatta shrew.
“Bad things happen when you do things God tells you not to do...”
God had nothing to do with this. It is obvious that this woman lied, ruined a young man’s life and sued for the big money. Even if the couple didn’t have sex, the woman could have said he kidnapped her and raped her.
The bottom line: 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."
she should be in prison.............
“However, she later refused to repeat the story because she feared she would have to return the $1.5 million settlement.”
Banks should sue her civilly to get some of that coin.
Donna, while I don’t necessarily disagree with your premise, it does cause me some concern that after reading the report here, your first reaction was to condemn this man instead of the woman who lied about him.
He has barely been cleared, and here you are condemning him on a side issue.
Didn’t waste a second did you...
Dead on target IMO.
Hope her attorney has to pay back their big fee too!
he should have stayed zipped up
That was my point.
That was my thought too. In fact, I’d like to see something that causes someone like her to have to spend twice as much time in prison as the person she falsely accused had to.
Serving his amount of time should be mandatory. Then they can tack on whatever civil penalties apply.
Clearly, they both ignored God’s warning.
She is not the first woman who made more than a million dollars by falsely accusing an innocent man. I remember Anita Hill. Paula Coughlan at the Tailhook Convention is another one.
I just did a google search on this story after hearing it on the radio. There’s a whole lot more to this story than is reported in this article and this is not a good day for the justice system because the justice system failed miserably for over five years, allowing this young man to rot in prison for something that he clearly didn’t do.
The story from a CA web site reports that the girl’s story about the rape never, ever made sense. She claimed that the guy ejaculated inside her, but there was no semen. She claimed that he wiped it all off with a paper towel, but that is impossible. She claimed that he dragged her all over the school, passed classrooms that were in use. She accused him of forcing her into all kinds of sex acts that just never happened and couldn’t have happened the way she said that they did.
The kid was tried as an adult and told that he could face up to 44 years in jail if the case went to trial. He took the plea bargain. He was only a kid, who had been offered a football scholarship to USC and still thinks that maybe he can play pro football.
This is really sad, he can’t go back and make up those lost years, he will never play football, but the people of California owe that kid a college education at USC. It’s the least that they can do to try make up for the damage that their legal system did to this young man’s life.
Both of these people were consenting adults.
So both of you pin-heads come here and address him as if he is the person at fault.
She fornicated too, in case someone needs to take you by the hand and explain it to you.
Being equal, her actions were far more offending than the sin they both shared.
Get over it.
he will be on kfi
With all that being said, it becomes quite evident that the kid didn’t have money and his public defender didn’t do anything on his behalf, except sell him out.
With all that going for him, his attorney told him to accept a plea bargain altering his life forever.
That guy should be brought up on charges of legal malpractice.
There was no semen. The couple may have had sex at some previous time, but the act that the girl described was impossible. Nothing about her claims made any sense and the case should never have been prosecuted.
They tried the kid as an adult and scared him into a plea deal in order to not have to take their weak case to trial because the prosecutors knew that an adult jury would see right through the phony accusation and lack of evidence.
I think that the prosecutors should be charged on this one. Maybe the restitution should come out of the pockets of the prosecutors, a full ride to USC, including room and board, the same deal that the prosecutors took away from him.
Thanks Doug. Hope all is going good for you.
Really need to get over the sex before marriage thing. And it’s rather strange of you to use that in an attempt to attack the guy who has had his life destroyed.
Frankly Eva, I think his defending attorney should have to pay for his education. He challenged nothing. The state didn’t even have to put on a case.
I think that the prosecutors should have to pay restitution out of their own pockets, a full ride, including room and board to USC. ...but we can include the public defenders in that as well. They tried the kid as an adult and then used scare tactics to convince him to take the plea bargain.
I’d say that they should all be disbarred, but then they wouldn’t have any money to pay the restitution. Where are all the restorative justice advocates when you need them?
Keep telling yourself that.
I've dated a LOT of women in my life and have been married almost 21 years now. I've never raped anyone nor have I been accused of rape. To state that things like this are more reason to not date, and that you're glad about it is ridiculous. Women are fun and totally worth the effort (and potential danger like this). With your logic, you shouldn't drive, or walk down the sidewalk, or eat, or do basically anything because there is risk everywhere.
To be sure the public defender didn’t do his job, but the prosecutors should never have brought the charges. The whole justice system failed.
Did you hear the guy talk about this and how hopeful he sounds for his future? It just makes me sick. He doesn’t even understand what he has lost yet. This young man is going to need some serious counseling and guidance when it hits him that life has gone on without him for the past most important five and a half years of his life.
I may be wrong, but a prosecuting attorney is damned if he doesn’t let the case go to trial. Denying a woman her day in court when the charge is rape, is not a winning proposition.
With what you have brought up though, I can’t fathom how a defending attorney could urge a plea deal that would screw this guy over like this.
There seems to have been plenty of information available to have the jury outright laughing at the prosecutors and the supposed victim once they’d heard the facts.
Geez, it was 10 years ago, I thought that radio had said 5.5 years.
. I'm not into ONS's but I really don't think God has any problem with loving committed couples having premarital sex. Marriage is a fairly new thing anyway in human existence. I don't think God sweats the small stuff...looks how you lead your life-how caring and honest you were, how you treated other people.
I know a coupe who have lived together for 30+ years, never married, 4 kids. Their relationship is the textbook example of soulmates. When one of them dies the other will die the next day of a broken heart.
Do you think God condemn them over a married couple who are dishonest, don't care about other people? I really don't think he is that petty.
In our culture, men are guilty; being a man
is already two strikes against you.
Of course our popular culture worships Gaia, the
mother-earth goddess (actually a demon).
Having this affair put him in the wrong
place, but it sounds like he was innocent
of the written statutes.
Your comment was very perceptive but evidently did not fit some template your critics prefer to Christian morality.
I agree with your comments about what he has lost. He probably didn’t graduate high school either. Perhaps he completed that in prison.
I will concede that the prosecutors and even the judge should have headed this off at the pass. There must be something else we’re not hearing.
What bothers me, is now we are going to have to foot the bill for this kid. When malfeasance reaches this level, I want the players to have to anti up instead of the state.
It sounds as though the attorney and the prosecutors had convinced the kid that he had done something wrong by having sex with the girl at some other time and that it didn’t matter whether he had sex with her on that particular day or not.
The two were in summer school together. The girl claimed that he grabbed her outside the door to the ladies room and dragged her past several classrooms where classes were in session and would have heard any commotion or screaming, up an elevator, down two flights of stairs to some secluded alcove. Then had sex with her and ejaculated inside her. I mean she made up all kinds of details that she thought would support her case, but there was no semen in the rape kit.
“. I’m not into ONS’s but I really don’t think God has any problem....”
It doesn’t matter what you think about God.
It matters what God thinks about you.
Only repentance and accepting Christ’s sacrifice for ANY
sin or iniquity will make any difference at all, even if
your sin is a “meaningless” lie in the 5th grade.
Get it ?!?!?!?!
I don’t remember reading in the Bible where Jesus listed the harlet’s bad deeds. I do remember Him telling her to go and sin no more.
Trying to act Godly, we have several people entering this thread to list what the guy did wrong. Compassion comes later, after he has been sufficiently condemned.
I have objected, but ultimately this is okay with me, because God states that as you judge, so shall you be judged.
But there’s absolutely the possibility of the woman not liking me anymore, and telling her family that I did all these bad things to her, or worse, a call to 911 and destroying my life for as long as I live.
I’m not happy about the lack of companionship, but I am happy that I don’t have to deal with BS thought up by emotionally immature mid-20s women.
Let he who is guiltless cast the first stone at the man who fornicated, for as ye judge, so shall ye be judged.
Yes but by your logic the boys actions were punished because he didnt heed gods warning. The girl however, not heeding gods warnings on sex and also going an extra mile by lying while under oath to said god and destroying this young mans life got a 1.5 million dollar pay day.
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...