Monday, June 17, 2013

Limited justice for Brian Banks

Brian Banks was in high school when he fooled around with a girl who later told police he raped her. His lawyer told him if he didn't plead guilty he could get 40 years in jail, and being a young black man practically guaranteed a guilty verdict.

Wanetta Gibson accused Banks in 2002 when the two attended Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High, where Banks was a star prep prospect. Banks was convicted of rape, lost his USC scholarship and landed in jail, and Gibson sued the Long Beach Unified School District for being unsafe and won a $1.5 million judgment. 
Gibson later confessed that she lied and Banks was released in 2012. Gibson must repay a $750,000 settlement to the LBUSD plus attorney fees, interest and more than $1 million in punitive damages. 
Banks, 27, got several NFL tryouts last year and played in the UFL before he signed with the Atlanta Falcons in April. 
Lawyers were unable to locate Gibson, who has a history of civil litigation claims by and against her, including temporary restraining orders and domestic abuse charges. It's reported she also is being sued by the county for child support after receiving public assistance. The ruling allows the school district to get the money through her future wages and property.

All too often women escape all legal punishment after they are caught destroying a person's life with a false rape accusation. Even after Banks got Gibson to admit on video that she fabricated the entire story prosecutors still wouldn't touch the case.

Thankfully, Banks was able to win back his good name through help from the California Innocence Project, and the school district won a $2.6 million civil case against Gibson, even though prosecutors have been unable to find her and she has already burned through the $1.5 million she took from them and has been on welfare. But is that really enough? Letting someone like this escape justice and live the life of a child of the state isn't justice, it's tolerance of evil.

If prosecutors won't go after Wanetta Gibson, who will they go after?

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