Thanks to some help from the Innocence Project, Brian Banks just got out of prison after serving over five years for a rape he didn’t commit. Faced with a 46-years-to-life sentence, he pleaded no contest to forcible rape. While he was locked up, his accuser collected a $1.5 million payout from the California Public Schools.
After he had spent a few years in prison, his accuser had the gall to contact him on FaceBook, asking to meet with him. Sensing an opportunity, Banks swallowed his pride and played along, giving Innocence Project activists the opportunity to record her recanting the accusation. Prosecutors, who so vigorously hounded the innocent man, say they will leave the false accuser – a criminal – alone. Bearing false witness used to be considered serious crime, but it seems an exception has been carved out for women who lie about rape.
Before he was locked up, Mr. Banks hoped to become an NFL player, and his chances were pretty good at the time. He’s said he wants to give it another shot, but at 26 years old, he’s middle aged for the NFL. His false conviction may have cost him millions of dollars and a glorious career. In the meanwhile, Wanetta Gibson, the criminal who stole those precious years, walks free.
Imagine a man kidnapped a woman, held her for five years, and managed to extract $1.5 million in the process. Then imagine that after the woman escaped, prosecutors said “the kidnapping happened years ago, so we won’t prosecute.”
There is no moral difference between what Wanetta Gibson did and kidnapping a woman for ransom. Both are vile crimes.
Below is Mr. Banks at the hearing to vacate his conviction. It’s an emotional moment:
Most men freed by the Innocence Project have been falsely accused of rape. More innocent men are imprisoned for rape than any other serious crime. Probably because many women, like Wanetta Gibson, have a free pass to falsely accuse men and then collect money for doing so.