Brian Banks dreamed of making it to the NFL. He had a full scholarship to one of the top football programs in the country, and he was a star athlete from Long Beach Polytechnic High School, the intuition responsible for more NFL players than any other high school in the nation. But his dreams were shattered when he was accused of kidnapping and raping a childhood friend in a school stairwell.

Based on his lawyer’s advice and to avoid a possible life sentence, Banks pled no contest to the charges and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. After serving half his term, he was released and got the strangest request: his accuser friended him on Facebook.

When they decided to meet, Wanetta Gibson, 15 at the time of the alleged attack, admitted that she’d made up the whole story. Banks did not kidnap or rape her, and she agreed to help him try to clear his name, but with one condition: she didn’t want to testify in court.

Gibson’s family received a $1.5 million settlement from a civil lawsuit they field against the Long Beach schools and she feared that if she went to court she’d have to pay the money back.

ESPN reports:

Banks had tried to win release while he was in prison, but Brooks, a law professor and head of the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law in San Diego, said he could not have been exonerated without the woman coming forward and recanting her story.

Brooks said it was the first case he had ever taken in which the defendant had already served his time and had been free for a number of years.

Banks remained on probation, however, and was still wearing his electronic monitoring bracelet at Thursday’s hearing. His lawyer said the first thing the two planned to do was report to probation officials and have it removed.

“The charges are dismissed now,” Brooks said. “It’s as if it didn’t happen. … It was the shortest, greatest proceeding I’ve ever been part of.”

Banks had been arrested after Gibson said he met her in a school hallway and urged her to come into an elevator with him. The two had been friends since middle school and were in the habit of making out in a school stairwell, according to court papers.

There were contradictions in Gibson’s story, as she told some people the rape happened in the elevator and others that it happened in the stairwell.

A kidnapping enhancement was added to the case because of the allegation Banks had taken her to the stairwell. That enhancement also was thrown out Thursday.

Outside court, Banks donned a sweat shirt that read “Innocent,” as several friends and family members wept. His parents were jubilant, and Banks thanked them for standing by him.

“I know the trauma, the stress that I’ve been through, but I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your child torn from you,” he said. “I don’t know what I would have done without my parents.”

Now that he’s cleared his name, Gibson hopes to still make it to the NFL and his attorney has asked several pro teams to give the 26-year-old a shot. And while the odds are certainly stacked against him, I won’t count him out just yet.

  • edub

    Wow.
    His accuser seems so selfish. If I were him, I would sue her.

  • bob

    Men are opressed by a legal system where women can lie on them and get paid out the ass. This girl lied on him and then got 1.5 million dollars wtf, or it could be that she did get raped and just dont want him to suffer anymore. I doubt that though , she messed up his whole life. They wasted 6 years of his life he was 16 when he went to jail his whole life is messed up , where is his 1.5 million dollars , the courts need to be reformed and he is an idiot for taking the plea bargin , I never would have took it . dang his reputation was ruined too. dang this is why I never messed with girls I did not trust aint nobody gonna lie on my ass. the woman that lies on me , and ruins my life , will die , maybe I will kill her slow , but one way or the other you ruin my life without a good reason I will kill you.

  • Laugh

    That’s a shame!

  • Muse

    The accuser better PRAY Banks doesn’t have an extra gully sister

  • iQgraphics

    she.ruined.his.life!
    She should receive time in prison equal to the time he served.
    I don’t think she should be sued for money damages, however, he should sue the state and be awarded money damages equal to what she was awarded.
    his record should be completely ex-sponged.
    Who does that? WOW.

  • iQgraphics

    i was thinking that too…like if this was MY SON!
    OMG! I don’t know what I’d do first.,

  • kidole

    Why isn’t this “woman” being thrown in his old cell??

  • Pingback: Brian Banks Vacated of Rape Conviction after Alleged Victim friended him on Facebook – EricaVain.com |

  • LemonNLime

    “Women” like this are PURE evil. This “woman” should be in prison for lying under oath, falsifying a police report, and defrauding the state of 1.5M. I wish he would have worn a recording device the minute he agreed to meet with her. “Women” like this are horrible because they ruin lives and take away from real women who have been raped. Might not be a popular opinion but this is exactly why when rape trails occur, I don’t side with the women automatically like a lot of people do. Men and women lie so I reserve my judgement until I see evidence of a crime. It is far too easy for a spurned woman to cry wolf, cry on stand, and then ruin someone’s life.

    Seriously, if I was a mom I would teach my sons to stay FAR away these girls because they can and will ruin your life. If I was his mother, that girl would need to be sleeping with a rifle because her a** would be grass. There would be no place for her or her family to hide and by the time I was done with them, they would be so broke their great grand kids would STILL be paying my family.

  • The Taker

    Man, poor baby. That female don’t deserve not an ounce of luck or prosperity in her got damn life. What she did to this young man was/is horrific. Even though Brian is working hard to get back on track, who freaking knew how far he would have been in his life had she not ruined it with lies. It’s because of females like her , WOMEN and girls when truly raped, have a hard time getting their cases proved and the attacker convicted. This is so disgusting, ugh. I saw this on the news yesterday and I really wish I could have jumped through the t.v. screen to give him a hug. I really hope Brian gets his dreamed granted and that he has a happy and successful life. Much luck to him.

  • I got sense!

    @iQgraphics

    In my best Miss Sophia voice

    She ain’t worf it, she ain’t worf it.

  • The Taker

    I hate you guys commenting system now. I’ve never had to many problems now it’s like, my comment barely posts. Wth? This isn’t vsb.

  • I got sense!

    “This “woman” should be in prison for lying under oath, falsifying a police report, and defrauding the state of 1.5M.”

    You and I are on the same page. Trying to figure out why charges haven’t been brought against her yet.

  • The Taker

    One more time.

    Omg, poor baby. That female don’t deserve not an ounce of luck or prosperity in her got damn life. What she did to this young man was/is horrific. Even though Brian is working hard to get back on track, who freaking knew how far he would have been in his life had she not ruined it with lies. It’s because of females like her , WOMEN and girls when truly raped, have a hard time getting their cases proved and the attacker convicted. This is so disgusting, ugh. I saw this on the news yesterday and I really wish I could have jumped through the t.v. screen to give him a hug. I really hope Brian gets his dreamed granted and that he has a happy and successful life. Much luck to him.

  • I got sense!

    To all those who are curious. I dug up a little info for ya!

    “It was uncertain whether Gibson will have to return the money and unlikely she would be prosecuted for making the false accusation so long ago.”

    Really now, so that’s what’s hot in USA now? Falsely accuse someone of a horrible crime. Have their life ruined and their name slandered, get paid 1.5 M for it and then recant and NOTHING happens to you???

    “Gibson did not attend the hearing and she could not be reached for comment. Prosecutors and defense attorneys said they were unable to find her recently.”

    http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/18622041/former-top-calif-football-prospect-exonerated

    So she obviously has enough sense to keep a low profile because I would beat this woman myself. All $1.5M and 1825 days in jail worth. I can’t believe this!! I am literally shaking right now. That could have been my father, brother, uncle, son, etc.

    My next question is has his record been cleared? Exoneration doesn’t mean expunged and without getting his record expunged this charge will still be on his record so if he was an average Joe and it didn’t make news like this he would have a really hard time getting a job because he would have to disclose this. Not to mention where is his money??? OMG I’m so pissed right now.

  • Mr Jay

    Where can he go to get his life back?

  • starr

    The worse type of woman. She ruined his life, and she knew it. And those like her make it so hard for real victimes to get justice.

  • Muse

    @ iqGrapics and I got sense! – LOL!

    but seriously though. if he were my brother, it would take everything in me to not straight STEAMROLL that girl. And this is coming from someone whose last physical altercation happened 19yrs ago in the 4th grade.

    She ruined his life and to make matters worse, got paid $1.5 million for it!! Nah, boo. We fightin’.

  • Kathleen

    No offense but there are couple gaps in the telling of this story making it hard to follow. I read the story on people and got a better understanding of the case.

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20598633,00.html

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    My thoughts will not warrant a comment, other than.Shoot for the stars homie.

  • Miss J

    she should pay for what she did to him lying about being rape

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    “aint nobody gonna lie on my ass. the woman that lies on me , and ruins my life , will die , maybe I will kill her slow , but one way or the other you ruin my life without a good reason I will kill you.”

    Uh, tell us how you really feel.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/clnmike Tonton Michel

    I would love to hear the details of the case to see how his lawyer came up with the great idea of taking a plea deal with 0 physical evidence against his client.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    this is terrible.

    both for him and for any real victim who comes forward in the future and is not believed because of what this girl did.

  • iQgraphics

    @i got sense
    LMBFBAO

    I just died… please lower the casket

  • Dalili

    “Banks did not kidnap or rape her, and she agreed to help him try to clear his name, but with one condition: she didn’t want to testify in court.”

    She falsely accuses him, then she gives him conditions as to what she’ll do to help exonerate him???!!!! Wow!

  • Pat

    Right?..The nerve.

  • Isis

    Totally agree. Just horrible. Makes it harder for Women that are actually raped

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    Can you believe that there are slags out there defending this woman?! >=O

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    There are some massive cajones on that one, that’s for sure.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    WTF! Why did she falsely accuse him? She couldn’t possibly have known she would get that kind of money. This is absolutely reprehensible.

  • Introverted Leo

    Yes, but also note that a lot of rapes don’t get reported, which affects the statistics.

  • binks

    Lol get out of my head, I don’t even know him and want to go HAM on this chick for him and his family… Wow, he and his family are good! If that was either of my brothers everytime a thought of her passed through my mind she would be running from me. this is really sad and ridiculous, I feel for him this was truly a grave misguided use of the system not only for him but real kidnapped/rape victims. This is why men need to keep their guard up as well I heard to many stories involving some women who lied and said so and so happened when it didn’t…it really makes it hard to take real victims words for face value (not that it’s an excuse but still). She needs to be charged with something can..smh

  • danielle

    It’s bad enough that women don’t like to come forward because they always make the victim out like she’s promiscuous, and this TRICK, falsely accused this man which cost him his future, dream and career. She needs to pay ALL that money back and be brought up on perjury charges. He should sue her in civil court. She cost him alot.

  • tisme

    her face is out there now.I’m sure she will get hers somehow.Not saying I’m wishing her harm or that I’ll do anything to her but karma is a mofo.I’m surprised she’s still living.

  • http://www.tierraallen.com Tierra Speaks

    I’m going to have to agree. Though, I do wonder what the circumstances were to even falsely accuse him. This is a prime example of what’s wrong with the world. You owe 1.5 million PLUS interest and should be jailed.

  • danielle

    That’s the million dollar question. What was her motive for accusing him of raping her.

  • danielle

    He doen’t have to expunge anything. All that is wiped off his record.

  • danielle

    That’s what I would like to know. They need to find the lawyer and ask that question

  • kc

    What a vile, poorly phrased comment. I don’t know whether to laugh or shake my head.

  • Alexandra

    Ugh! I always felt that lawmakers should push to get tougher laws against false rape accusers. It’s sickening how one persons lies destroyed the mans life. He lost days/years that he will never get back. I wish him luck in the future.

    Her face being public is not enough, throw her in jail.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/thePoshRetro PoshMiss.com

    This makes me nervous for young black men or any men…any women as well. We cannot afford to be alone in any situation where someone could lie. Justice has been served slightly here, but there are plenty in jail who have lost their lives because of wrong place at the wrong time.

  • (_____)….(________)

    He had terrible legal counsel. There is no reason that he should have taken a plea deal if he was innocent. It was just his word against hers. He should have fought it.

  • Sparkle

    That’s what I was thinking! SMH

  • iQgraphics

    i couldnt spell expunged to save my life.

  • iQgraphics

    *expunged

    I can’t spell.

  • http://www.pinkpantiesandleopardlipstick.wordpress.com Myisha of Pink Panties & Leopard Lipstick

    I can’t believe this is even a real story! Smh… I wish a chick would do this to my bro!

  • Loquacious

    Wanetta is not an alleged victim. Further, she is no longer a victim pursuant to the California judicial system. She is a liar who needs to get her ass whooped.

  • cmn

    I’m really surprised that people are not more angry at this chick. I wonder how we all would respond if it was a white girl that accused him of rape (and no I’m not a white girl).

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