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15th Mar 2024

Student breaks down in court as rape charges are dropped after girl admitted it never happened

Charlie Herbert

He spent six years in prison

A high school football star broke down in court after rape charges against him were dropped when the girl admitted it never happened.

Brian Banks was a 17-year-old student at Long Beach Polytechnic High School back in 2002. The teen was a promising American football player, and looked set for bigger and better things in the sport.

But his life, education and football career was thrown into turmoil when he was accused and the kidnap and rape of Waneta Gibson.

She claimed Banks had kidnapped her, dragged her into a stairwell and sexually assaulted her.

However, what had actually happened was that Banks had bumped into Gibson whilst he was on his way to the school office.

Banks was expelled from the school and take into custody.

There was no evidence connecting Banks to any kidnap or rape, before his trial, his lawyer encouraged him to plead “no contest” to the charges so that he got a lesser sentence.

If he had pleaded not guilty, he could have faced a huge 41 years behind bars.

Banks followed his lawyer’s advice, but still ended up spending six years in prison, and a further five years under parole after his release.

He also had to join the sex offender’s register.

But 10 years later, in 2012, justice was served when Gibson was secretly recorded admitting that she made the allegations up.

Banks broke down in court when he was cleared of the charges 10 years later (CBS)

Gibson had reached out to Banks on social media, and agreed to meet up with him. In a hidden camera interview, she confessed to lying about the accusations to him and his legal team.

Banks was exonerated in 2012. Footage of him being cleared of the charges in court shows him break down in tears.

He ended up being able to pursue his football dream as well, playing in the NFL pre-season with the Atlanta Falcons.

Since he was cleared, Banks’ story has been turned into a film, called ‘Brian Banks’.


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