This is easily one of the biggest injustices I’ve read about. 26-year-old Brian Banks finally had his rape conviction overturned on Thursday, years after he served more than five years in prison after being sentenced.
Banks is a former Long Beach Poly football player who was set to play linebacker at USC. His future was derailed by a rape accusation from Wanetta Gibson over 10 years ago. Facing 41 years to life in prison, he was advised by his lawyer to plead no contest to the charges and he ended up serving over five years in prison.
Last February, Banks was friended by Gibson on Facebook. She allegedly admitted to Banks that she made up the accusations and said she would try to help him clear his name. However, Gibson refused to recant her story to prosecutors because she didn’t want to pay back the $1.5 million she won in a civil suit against Long Beach schools.
Banks met with Gibson a second time, this time secretly videotaping the conversation. Gibson again said she would help him.
“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 said, according to a defense investigator who was at the meeting.
“She said that the two had been ‘making out pretty heavy,’ but that they did not have intercourse or “anything like that.”
“Gibson said that they were just playing around, being curious about sexuality, and that the adults got involved and blew it all out of proportion,” according to legal documents. “She said the adults ‘put stuff in [her] head.'”
The videotape apparently helped Banks get the original conviction overturned on Thursday, but it will be difficult for him to get his life back. He was on probation and has been wearing an electric monitoring bracelet since being released from prison. He’s also had to register as a sex offender. He’s hoping to restart his football career, and he’s making a documentary about his life.
If Wanetta Gibson isn’t the worst person in the world, she’s right up there. This woman made up a rape and kidnapping allegation and watched Banks serve over five years in prison despite knowing that he was innocent. And how badly does she feel about it? Not badly enough to help him out if it means giving back her money.
This woman should be in prison for making up false charges and she and her family should be forced to pay back the money they stole from Long Beach, plus damages to Banks.