USC Football: Former Trojan Commit Exonerated of Kidnap-Rape Conviction

Jimmy McMurreyAnalyst IIMay 24, 2012

Brian Banks shed tears when he learned he was free once again.
Brian Banks shed tears when he learned he was free once again.

In 2002, Brian Banks, an outstanding high school football prospect with a scholarship offer from USC, was convicted of kidnapping and rape charges. Now, a full decade later, the 26-year-old has been exonerated of the conviction...after already spending six years in prison. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Banks' acquaintance, Wanetta Gibson, testified that she was kidnapped and raped by Banks on their high school campus. 

Gibson then sued the school district due to the fact that the campus was not safe, and she was awarded $1.5 million. 

Ten years later, she admitted that the story was complete fiction. She let the cat out of the bag after she recently contacted Banks on Facebook. 

The California Innocence Project took the evidence to the original judge of the case, and the conviction was subsequently overturned. 

No longer is Banks an ex-convict, and no longer does he have to register as a sex offender.

The story was further investigated by Fox News. Gibson said (of Banks), "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."

So it would seem that Gibson traded six years of a man's life and career for her own payday. Hopefully, the California justice system will take appropriate action against this woman. Lying to a judge and jury is still a crime. 

Banks is still training to have a football career. He could have developed into an NFL talent while at USC and would have been there during the Reggie Bush years. 


Though the NFL is unlikely now due to his age, a strong college career is certainly a possibility for this young man. 



CBS did a segment today on Brian Banks, and is also featured here on YouTube.

Judging by the video it seems that Banks is a stout-hearted man who is not about to give up on his dream, despite the fact that he is almost 10 years behind schedule. 

At no point during this situation has Banks expressed any animosity towards the woman who took his career and sent him to prison. 

Wish this young man the best, as he is grateful for what he has, rather than what he lost. 

The glass isn't half-full for Brian Banks. It's overflowing.