Brian Banks, the former high school standout linebacker who was wrongfully convicted of rape and kidnapping, is getting a chance to earn a spot on the Seattle Seahawks‘ roster they are expected to try him out on June 7. Pete Carroll, who previously recruited him to play at USC back when Banks was a teen, is the Seahawks’ head coach.
Banks is 26-years-old and hasn’t played competitive football since high school. Making the step up from a competitive college program is a rigorous transition for most all-Americans, let alone a man who hasn’t been hit in 10 years. Still, this recent news is just the beginning of brighter days for Banks.
Up until last week, though, Banks’ life couldn’t be bleaker. As NewsOne reported, Banks was convicted for raping and kidnapping Wanetta Gibson in 2002, after they made out in their high school, Long Beach Poly-Technical, stairwell.
Soon after, Gibson accused Banks of rape and kidnapping. Banks’ attorney insisted that he take a plea. While Banks didn’t want to admit to a crime he didn’t commit, the plea deal — which was supposed to amount to 18 months in prison — looked better than the 40-plus years he faced if convicted.
Once he took the plea, though, Banks was sentenced to six years in prison — a far cry from the 18 months he was advised he’d receive.
Gibson, on the other hand, earned a hefty $750,000 check, after her mother sued the high school for lack of security.
When Banks was released from prison, he had to wear a GPS-tracking device, register as a sex offender, and keep way from schools, zoos, and parks. He couldn’t get a job, and was lucky to get a few hours unloading docks.
Last year, he got a Facebook friend request from Gibson saying, “Let’s let bygones be bygones.”Yes, she really wrote that.
Banks hired a private investigator who video recorded her saying that she lied about the rape and kidnapping. The California Innocence Project took up his case and helped get his conviction overturned.