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.
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