In 2002, Brian Banks was a successful high school football player, looking forward to playing in the NCAA, and eventually, the NFL. But while he would eventually go on to play for the Atlanta Falcons in 2013, that future looked impossible in 2002 when he faced a sentence of 41 years to life, after being accused of raping a classmate in high school.
Brian would see his dreams derailed, and accepted a plea arrangement that reportedly required a 5 year sentence in prison, and 5 years of probation, along with a permanent record as a sex offender.
The Long Beach Unified School District was also sued by the false victim, and it seemed that Brian’s had caused the educational system to be held responsible for $1.5 million dollars which were paid to the con artist, Wanetta Gibson.
In March of 2011, a string of events would change Brian’s life, as his accuser reportedly met with him and admitted that she had lied about the incident in order to pilfer funds from the school system. Fortunately for Brian, he secretly recorded the confession, and while she refused to admit to lying in a court of law, the recording was enough for Los Angeles County to overturn his conviction in May, 2012. Additionally, the Long Beach Unified School District ended up suing his accuser to recover the $1.5 million she was paid, and reportedly won a $2.6 million dollar judgement against Gibson.
That summer, Brian hoped to recover his dream of playing football. He would try out for the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Diego Chargers, the San Francisco 49ers, and even met with the Seattle Seahawks, who’s head coach at the time, Pete Carroll, had offered Banks a scholarship to play at USC while he was still a Junior in high school. He was never able to attend USC because of the false accusation.
After signing with the Atlanta Falcons in April, Banks finally made his first tackle in the NFL on August 8, 2013, over a decade after being falsely accused of rape.