Brian Banks was a former high school football star when he was accused of rape by Wanetta Gibson. Gibson’s name was sealed as a rape victim while Banks was publicly accused as a rapist despite his insistence that it was consensual sex. It was his word against hers and prosecutors threatened him with life imprisonment if he went to trial, so he pleaded guilty to a rape that he did not commit. He spent five years in jail. When he was released he was surprised when his “victim” asked to befriend him on Facebook. She later admitted that she made the whole thing up but did not want to give back the $1.5 million that she won in a judgment against the school district for her alleged rape. She retains the money despite admitting to lying about the rape.
Banks was 16 and a student at Long Beach Poly High School when he said that he made out with Gibson but did not go beyond groping and kissing. He was a talented football star being scouted by colleges for possible scholarships. The ended the same day when Gibson accused him of rape. Prosecutors pushed forward with the case despite an absence of critical forensic evidence and the fact that Gibson’s account changed over time. Banks’ mother sold her condo and her car to pay for his defense.
After his release, Gibson met Banks and agreed to speak in front of an investigator. She is quoted as saying “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.”
Since this case occurred ten years ago, it is not clear if Gibson will even be investigated, let alone charged for her false statements. In the meantime, she is keeping the money . . . what she has not already spent.
There is also no response from prosecutors on why they pushed forward with the case given the conflicts in the account of the alleged victim and absence of forensic evidence establishing guilt.
A judge has finally expunged the conviction of Banks so that he does not have to remain on parole. He already served the jail time.
Source: ABA Journal