Football player Brian Banks, 26, was accused of forcible rape about 10 years ago when he was still in high school. About a year ago, Banks had a friend request from the woman who accused him of the rape.
Banks recently finished a five year prison term. He asked the woman, Wanetta Gibson, if she would not mind meeting with him and a private investigator. She agreed.
At the meeting, which was secretly recorded, said she had lied and said, “No he did not rape me”.
Following the admission, a Superior Court judge dismissed Banks’ conviction, undoing 10 years of turmoil in a hearing that lasted less than a minute.
In the summer of 2002, Banks was considered a top college football prospect. A 6-foot-4, 225-pound middle linebacker at Long Beach Poly High, Banks had been courted by USC, UCLA and other football powerhouses.
He was attending summer school, and asked his teacher to leave class and make a phone call, where Banks, a senior, ran into Gibson, a sophomore.
Banks said they fooled around, but that their sexual contact was consensual.
Gibson’s story was different and she claimed in a note to her classmate that Banks threw her against the wall and raped her without a condom.
Banks had a choice. If he went to trial and was convicted, he would have risked being sentenced to 41 years to life in prison or he had a plea deal offered of 5 years.
Banks pleaded no contest to one count of forcible rape. He was incarcerated for five years and, after his release, had to register as a sex offender.
According to Banks and his private investigator, Gibson refuses to tell prosecutors that she’d lied, in case she have to return the money she and her family had won in court.
But based on the new evidence, the California Innocence Project took on Banks’ case.
Our San Fernando Valley Attorneys come across cases like this often where our clients have been falsely accused. As criminal defense attorneys we do everything in our power to protect our client’s freedom, legal rights, and reputation.
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