HS Student Accused of Rape is Exonerated 10 Years Later, May Get Chance in NFL

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by Andrew Coughlin

Take a look at this video I posted from the CBS News online.

It's a story from California of a young man who had a promising beginning to his life, a terrible, scary middle and hopefully, an inspirational and happy ending.

Brian Banks was a star football player at Long Beach Polytechnic HS when, in 2003, he was accused of rape by Wanetta Gibson.  Banks was 16 at the time and was already being recruited by some of the top universities in the nation.  Ohio State and Michigan were some of the schools that came calling before Banks verbally agreed to go to USC to play linebacker.

Banks never got the chance to attend the school, however, instead signing a plea deal with the District Attorney to serve five years in jail, instead of possibly being found guilty and serving 20-30 years.  Banks maintained his innocence over the years, served his time and remained on a five year probation after he got out.

In an intriguing twist to this story, Gibson sent Banks a Facebook friend request and wanted to meet with him.  Banks agreed and brought a private investigator with him who carried a hidden camera.  Gibson subsequently confessed that the rape never occurred and now Banks has been fully exonerated of all charges.

Now, he has a shot at playing professional football and joining an NFL team.  According to ESPN.com, the Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks all have interest in bringing Banks in to see what he has left.  Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll, who recruited Banks back in HS, was the USC head coach when Banks verbally committed to become a Trojan.

The second chance he is receiving isn't from serving his time from a crime he committed, but in the fortitude and integrity he has shown the past ten years, obviously adding to an already strong character.

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