Brian Banks that a football player went to prison for five years on a phony rape charge. Upon his release she approached him saying “‘I will go through with helping you but it’s like at the same time all that money they gave [me] I don’t want to have to pay it back”
In the summer of 2002, Banks was arrested and charged after classmate Wanetta Gibson said that he dragged her into a stairway at Polytechnic High School (Poly) and raped her. Faced with a possible 41 years to life sentence, he accepted a plea deal that included five years in prison, five years of probation, and registering as a sex offender. Wanetta Gibson and her mother Wanda Rhodes sued the Long Beach Unified School District, claiming the
Poly campus was not a safe environment, and won a $1.5 million settlement. In March 2011, Gibson contacted Banks on Facebook, met with him, and admitted that she had fabricated the story. Banks secretly recorded Gibson’s confession, but she refused to tell prosecutors that she had lied so she wouldn’t have to return the money she and her family had won in court. Nevertheless, with Gibson’s taped admission and help from California Innocence Project attorneys, Los Angeles County prosecutors overturned Banks’ conviction on May 24, 2012.
On April 12, 2013, the Long Beach Unified School District announced it was suing Wanetta Gibson for $2 million in an effort to recoup the $1.5 million she received, along with attorney’s fees and punitive damages. On June 14, 2013, the school district won a $2.6 million judgment against Gibson, which includes the $750,000 settlement initially paid to her along with attorney’s fees, interest, and $1 million in punitive damages.
Banks now serves as a spokesperson for the California Innocence Project and is working on a documentary about his story.