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.
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.