Man Cleared Of Rape Wants Money From The State — And He Should Get It
1:27 pm, May 27th | by Lilly ODonnell
When Banks was arrested he was a star player on Long Beach Polytechnic High School’s football team, and, according to the AP, had verbally accepted a football scholarship from USC. The LA Times reported that he had to register as a sex offender, and was out on parole when Wanetta Gibson contacted Banks via Facebook and admitted she lied.
It’s going to take a lot for Banks to put his life back together, and he’ll never get back the five years that were supposed to be some of the best of his life. The state should just give him what he’s asking for.
Rape cases that come down to the accuser’s word against the accused’s are tricky, but putting a man behind bars for something he didn’t do should be avoided with as much caution as letting him go free when he’s actually guilty. There are bound to be mistakes in cases like this one, where the involved parties’ testimony is the only evidence, but when the state does make such a mistake, I don’t see how they could refuse a demand for restitution.
For some reason, Banks isn’t suing Gibson, who received $1.5 million in a civil suit against Long Beach schools. Although Gibson reached out to Banks and offered to help clear his name, she doesn’t want to repeat her admission to prosecutors for fear of having to return the money, according to the AP.
During a second meeting that was secretly videotaped, she told Banks, “`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,’” according to Freddie Parish, a defense investigator who was at the meeting.
Perhaps Banks is more forgiving of a girl who was 15 at the time she lied to prosecutors than of the system that was supposed to protect him from wrongful conviction — but Gibson and the state both owe Banks more than an apology.