Brian Banks was a 16 year old high school football star in Long Beach, California, when a lying girl and the government collaborated to ruin his life. He was falsely accused of rape by classmate Wanetta Gibson after the two had kissed in a stairwell. Gibson concocted an elaborate story claiming that Banks dragged her across campus and raped her. Even though Banks did not commit the crime and in fact there had been no rape at all, his attorney advised him to seek a plea bargain to get a lighter sentence as the government was threatening him with 41 years to life in prison. Choosing what he saw as the lesser of two bad options after his lawyer suggested he would be convicted because he is black, Banks plead “no contest” and was imprisoned for over five years was then put on probation. Upon release, he was forced to wear a GPS monitor, register as a violent sex offender, and was restricted from living near or going near schools.
The Brian Banks Story
False accuser Wanetta Gibson is the real rapist (as in financial rape) in this story. She and her family got a large settlement (variously reported as either being $750,000 or $1.5 million) from the Long Beach School District on the basis of her lies and claims that lax school security contributed to causing her “rape”.
Gibson this year admitted Banks did not rape her, but was worried she might have to repay the fraudulently obtained settlement. Students, investigators, and attorneys associated with the California Innocence Project helped to obtain evidence that Gibson had falsely accused Banks which resulted in the overturning of his conviction on May 24, 2012.
As the California Innocence Project web page on the Banks case explains:
Banks was faced with an impossible decision at the time – either fight the charges and risk spending 41 years-to-life in prison, or take a plea deal and spend a little over 5 years of actual prison confinement. Although it would mean destroying his chance to go to college and play football, a lengthy probationary period, and a lifetime of registration as a sex offender, Banks chose the lesser of two evils when he pleaded no contest to the charges.
Teri Stoddard of SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is calling for the prosecution of Wanetta Gibson as part of their effort to quash the epidemic of false allegations of crime and violence that are ruining the lives of many innocent people. She reports that roughly ten percent of Americans have been falsely accused of child abuse, domestic violence, or sexual assault and there are very few protections for such people.
Gibson should be prosecuted for perjury. But that doesn’t go far enough. She should also be prosecuted for criminal fraud that cost taxpayers and insurers an enormous settlement plus legal fees in this case featuring a lying girl and an irresponsible government that encourages more liars to level false allegations by failing to prosecute such crimes.
Significant financial restitution and assistance to Brian Banks and his family is also warranted. It should be paid by the LA County District Attorney, the State of California, and Gibson to Banks and his family.
This boy was placed into prison at the age of 16 years old for 5 years for a rape that did not occur simply because a girl lied against him and the government failed to do its job to determine the truth, instead preferring to bully an innocent child into letting himself be steamrolled by the government because he was male and black and therefore was assumed to be guilty based merely upon a disputed accusation and his race and gender.
Brian Banks is a poster case for the injustices against men and African-American men in particular. If his accuser had been of some other racial group (she is African-American, too), you can get her crime would be the fuse in a powder keg of a potential racial uprising in Los Angeles. There is no doubt that racial bias played a part in the success of the State of California coercing Banks into pleading no contest.
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