Some good news finally folks for the former high school football star who was wrongfully accused of rape and imprisoned for six years and monitored for another four.
After a 10-year-old rape charge was overturned, Brian Banks will finally get a shot to make good on his NFL dream.
Banks, a one-time high school football star who was recently exonerated in a California rape case in which he was falsely accused, is finally getting a chance to play professional football.
The 26-year-old Banks, a linebacker, is signing with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League, a move the team confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
Banks served more than five years in prison following a conviction a decade ago on rape and kidnapping charges.
He was 16 and on the way to the school office to talk about his college applications when he bumped into Wanetta Gibson, a fellow student, and they went to a stairwell to make out, Brooks told KPCC. He pointed out that they did not have intercourse.
He explained that Banks said something to upset Gibson and they parted on bad terms. She later accused him of kidnapping her, dragging her across the school and raping her in the stairwell.
Investigators tested her but found no physical evidence of rape, Brooks said. Banks maintained they had not had sex and all sexual contact had been consensual.
Yet his then lawyer encouraged the promising student to plead no contest to the kidnap and rape charges, warning Banks he could get 41 years to life in prison if convicted.
Expecting he would serve just 18 months instead, he followed the advice and pleaded no contest. He was in prison for six years.
The woman later recanted her claim and offered to help Banks clear his name. Gibson, admitted she had made up the whole story of sexual assault ten years ago and had been reluctant to come forward because she thought she’d lose the large (multi-million) settlement she received from the school district.
Banks and the Locomotives will announce the signing at a news conference Thursday.
“We’re very pleased to be able to welcome this young man to the UFL and give him an opportunity in football that was denied him years ago,” Locomotives coach Jim Fassel said in a statement.
Banks was trying to land a spot in the NFL and got his first tryout with the Seattle Seahawks. He also received tryouts with the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, and eventually took part in Seattle’s minicamp in June. Banks was grateful to Seattle coach Pete Carroll for the opportunity to see where he stacked up against NFL players.
Banks had verbally committed to playing for Carroll at USC before Banks’ arrest and conviction.
Attorneys representing 26-year-old Banks said their client is entitled to $100 a day for every day of his incarceration under state law.($200k)