The lawyer told him to plead no contest, which in criminal law is when a defendant will not contest the charge of a particular crime.
This is also used when the defendant receives a plea bargain, and the defendant does not want to say s/he is guilty but accepts the sentence recommended by the prosecutor, in exchange for not contesting the charge. The idea is that with the plea, they receive a lesser sentence.
His plea meant avoiding up to 41 years in jail. However, with this plea, Banks had to agree with the other sentencing of 18 months to five years. Well, no surprise here because Banks received the maximum sentence.
I remember leaving that courtroom and going back into a holding cell and just being angry at the world.
To continue her fabricated story, the accuser decided to sue the school system for a lack of security, winning a settlement of $1.5 million.
After five years behind bars, Banks was released at the age of 22. Upon his release, he had to register as a sex offender, and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.
A few years later, Banks received a friend’s request on Facebook from his accuser. That is quite strange, right?
I immediately just—I froze. And I didn't accept the request. Instead, I sent a message to her. And my message asked her, Why would you friend request me?
What was her response you may ask?
She wanted bygones to be bygones. She wanted to see him and hangout.
What you been up to? What are you doing tonight? What are you doing tomorrow? Let's hang out.
Banks, with the help of a family friend, who happens to be a private investigator, decided to accept her request to meet. They set up hidden cameras, with the hope of getting her to clear his name. He asked her to assist in getting him exonerated and she said…
I mean, I will go through with helping you, but at the same time—all that money they gave us... I mean, gave me—I'm not going to give back. That would take a long time.
They decided to meet for a second time and with the cameras rolling…
Investigator: Yeah, and I just need to hear from you that those things—and I’ll put it all in the piece of paper—and I’ll meet up with you and we’ll go from there…
Wanetta Gibson: You want me to say it now?
Investigator: Just so I could—did he rape you?
Wanetta Gibson: No, he did not rape me.
Investigator: Did he kidnap you?
Wanetta Gibson: No.
With assistance from the California Innocence Project, Banks shared the recording with the district attorney’s office, who then met with Wanetta Gibson. Eventually, they agreed to recommend exoneration to the judge.
It was not until a year later that she was ordered to pay back the $1.5 million, plus an additional $1.1 million in fees. According to different reports, she spent the funds from the lawsuit, so her repayment will be interesting to say the least.
More importantly, there are no criminal charges filed. How can he serve time for a false accusation, and yet, she not serve time for making the false accusation?
A few days after the exoneration, Banks received a phone call.
Caller: Yeah, I’m looking for a linebacker. You know where I can find one?
Brian Banks: Yeah, yeah, you got the right number, but who is this?
Caller: It’s Coach Carroll.
Coach Carroll is the same football coach from USC, who tried to recruit Banks ten years prior. That same coach went on to become the NFL head coach, for the Seattle Seahawks. The call was to extend an invitation for Banks, to try out for the team.
Pete Carroll: Well I told him how I—what a shot in the dark this was for him, such a long shot. You know, our guys have prepared their whole lives and never missed a beat and he missed 10 years.
He did not make the squad, but he was able to try out for the Atlanta Falcons. Sadly, he did not make it beyond the 2013 preseason.
However, and this is a beautiful story indeed, though he is not a player, he now works for the NFL as manager in the football operations department.
He sent out a Tweet in August of this year…
I am honored to say I’ve taken an amazing position w/ the front office of the @nfl! God is good! I’m moving to #newyork
To add to this story, director Lee Daniels will now direct a film about his story titled, The Brian Banks Story.
It is truly amazing how people continue spreading false rape statistics, and yet, as vocal as they are on these faulty statistics, they refuse to talk about individuals like Banks.
Rape is a terrible crime and victims can be of any race, sex, age, etc. If you can discuss rape, you surely can discuss false accusations.
When we undermine the existence of these accusations, I am not surprised that Banks served time, even with the evidence in his favor.
We are teaching young boys that everything they do is wrong. We are changing the physical crime of rape to mean everything, even hurt feelings. The culture that you are adamantly pushing to spread…I want no part of it.
I am at a loss as to what I can say to people like Banks, but I am truly sorry that the justice system failed you. We can address victims of rape, but we should also acknowledge that yes, false accusations do occur.
When it happens, we must address them and the women must face legal actions for the harm they caused.
However, this is my opinion on false accusations. I would love to hear yours. Please do not shy away due to the topic. Do you believe someone’s word alone, is enough to dismantle a man’s reputation?
Should the false accuser receive legal repercussions, when the false accusation becomes apparent? Should we ignore false allegations, because addressing the topic will limit real victims from coming forward?
I want to thank you for your time on this long post, but please…watch this speech from Banks when you can.