Football star exonerated of rape conviction after accuser recants

Published On: 28th May 2012

Brian Banks was an all-star middle linebacker for Long Beach Polytechnic High School. Heavily recruited, Banks was supposed to play for USC before being convicted of rape in 2002. Banks served 5 years in prison for the conviction. In addition to Banks’ conviction, his accuser, Wanetta Gibson, received $1.5 million in a civil suit against the school district.

After his release from prison, Gibson told Banks that she lied. However, she refused to admit that to prosecutors when confronted with the information. Instead, Gibson’s revelation was videotaped during a meeting with Banks. During that meeting, in reference to the civil settlement, Gibson stated, “‘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,” The meeting prompted prosecutors to agree that Banks’ conviction should be thrown out.

Based on his accuser’s revelation, Banks’ conviction was reversed. Although 26 years old, Banks hopes his the reversal of his conviction opens the door to an NFL career.

It is unclear if Gibson will be charged for making the false accusation.


Coley Grostyan is a Minneapolis, MN criminal defense attorney who represents individuals accused of criminal sexual conduct crimes in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs, and throughout the State of Minnesota.

Law Office of Coley J. Grostyan, PLLC
701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Football star exonerated of rape conviction after accuser recants