I’ve followed then 16 year-old Brian Banks’ rape case from beginning to end. It’s a heartbreaking story that appears to be headed toward a happy ending.
Brian Banks said signing with the Atlanta Falcons is his second-biggest accomplishment.
The biggest was Banks’ exoneration of rape charges one year ago.
Banks, 27, signed with the Falcons on Wednesday, giving him an opportunity he said he did not believe would be possible when he spent five years in prison and five years on probation following his conviction of rape and kidnapping charges a decade ago.
“I felt at the time in order for me to exit prison with a sane mind and be able to just function as a person I had to let go of certain dreams and goals I once held in life, football being one of them,” Banks said.
Banks said he “couldn’t have asked for a better place to be” than with the Falcons.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” he said. “It’s surreal.”
Banks was a 16-year-old junior and had made a verbal commitment to sign with Southern Cal when Wanetta Gibson, a Long Beach Poly high school classmate accused him of the rape.
Gibson recanted her claim and offered to help Banks clear his name after he was out of prison. That helped lead to the conviction being overturned by a California court and Banks’ record cleared on May 12, 2012.
Banks’ original defense attorney, Elizabeth Harris, declined to talk to “60 Minutes” as did Gibson, who has not returned the money she won in her lawsuit.
Banks said he read every book he could find while in prison and also learned to value every opportunity.
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Video of the accuser telling someone Brian never raped here:
- Report: Brian Banks Signs With Falcons After Spending Five Years in Prison Falsely Accused of Rape, Kidnapping (nesn.com)
- Atlanta Falcons sign Brian Banks, former football star exonerated of rape (tracking.si.com)
- Brian Banks gets rare, and deserved, second chance (lathanwells.wordpress.com)
- Exonerated linebacker Banks signs with Falcons (cbssports.com)
- Exonerated LB Banks signs with Falcons, rape conviction overturned following 5 years in jail (timescolonist.com)
- Report: Falcons Give Brian Banks A Much-Deserving Second Chance (bloggingdirty.com)