OT: Former USC commit Brian Banks cleared of rape charge

Submitted by MgoblueAF on May 26th, 2012 at 1:20 PM

This is a painful story on a former USC commitment, Brian Banks, who was charged with rape when he was 17 years old. He was a highly touted LB who had a UM offer at the time of the rape conviction. After agreeing to a plea bargain, he served six years in prison. 10 years after the initial claim, she admitted that she lied about everything, and he was exonerated. Still, though, she requested to keep the $1.5M payout she received from the school - geesh! This is the kind of story that makes me try to reserve judgement when it comes to situations like that [Mod Edit -- of other people who are accused of crimes -- zl]. http://newsone.com/2017533/brian-banks-facebook-page/

Mod Edit: I locked the thread. The comments aren't going well and the subject is too touchy. Let's all agree, doing bad things to other people is really bad. [zl]



May 26th, 2012 at 1:30 PM ^

that is total BS, she should have to rot in jail for putting someone thru that. people like her make it harder for women who were actually raped to get justice.


May 26th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

Is there a statute of limitations for perjury?  

Also, IF she did receive a 1.5 mil settlement based on false testimony, wouldn't that also be grand larceny?


May 26th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

This is absolutely horrid.  Woman like this are the reason that sex crimes are so difficult to deal with.  What type of person puts a man through 6 years of prison and ruins his life just to avoid dealing with a bad sexual experience.


May 26th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

How does this happen? I thought the problem in this country was that we DONT take the woman at her word about things like this. I wonder what evidence they found to support her case if it was total bs. Makes me want to go back and be a lawyer.

Monocle Smile

May 26th, 2012 at 2:17 PM ^

We can't afford not to believe women when they cry "rape." The consequences are too detrimental. However, this does open the door for situations like this one and the Duke lacrosse CF.

All you need to do is convince twelve schmucks that the guy on the other side is a dick.


May 26th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

we can afford to pay women millions of dollars for claiming to be raped either. That is a pretty good incetive to lying or entraping someone. 

Even for women that are raped, do they deserve a such a payoff? Is it going to erase what happened to them or help them heal emotionally. I think free medical/pychological treament would be much more beneficial, while helping to reduce situations like this.

Feat of Clay

May 26th, 2012 at 3:07 PM ^

My understanding is that the damages aren't just set by determining the dollar figure that will "heal" the victim. The figure is designed to punish the liable party, and in the case of a large organization it has to be big enough to pack a whallop, to incentivize future prevention of similar events. Or that's the logic, anyway.


May 26th, 2012 at 8:51 PM ^

Actually, we can't afford not to make any criminal case be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court, even if it is one that inflames emotions as much as rape.  One person being put in jail on the word of another with no forensic evidence is wrong, and sets a dangerous precedent.  

In other words, when the standard of proof becomes "he said, she said," we, as a society, might as well be back in Salem in the 1600's.


May 26th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

Rape is an awful awful thing for anyone to go through. Closely behind that, though, is being accused of such an awful thing that will taint your name for a long time if not life all while not actually doing anything wrong. Then he has to spend time in prison as well. This woman should be charged with something. She should have to spend the same amount of time in prison. 


May 26th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

I had a friend who had something similar happen where he had a scholarship to a christian college, then his gf accused him of rape so he was kicked out of the school and put on the sex offenders list and then the girl admitted like a year or two later that she lied and she walked away clean. It's sick.

That girl should have to serve at least the amount of time Brian did and have to pay back every single cent of that payout


May 26th, 2012 at 2:28 PM ^

This story sickens me to the bottom of my soul.

ALL A WOMAN HAS TO DO IS CRY RAPE - a man is then finished.

I truly hope that this women gets swift, just, cruel payback. Couple that with the crazy divorce laws in this country, and it's no wonder a backlash on feminism is starting.


May 26th, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

Rape seems to be the only type of criminal case where the accused is essentially guilty until proven innocent, probably because so many of the cases come down to a he-said, she-said. I also wonder why "victims" names are withheld by the media, while the accused are dragged through the mud at the first utterance of rape (for example, Duke Lacrosse). I'd like to see the look on a recruiter's face when he sees their resumes now... "Hey, you're that...." I understand the media wants to protect legitimate victims from some perceived public shame, but the same should apply until someone is proven guilty, as simply being accused of rape is more than devastating in itself (granted, I'm talking about those who are falsely accused).




May 26th, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

Not just rape, but any sexually-based offense.  Recently in our area, two generations of men from the same family were all put through the guilty-until-proven-innocent media wringer when several females from the family accused them of serially sexually abusing them for decades.  This was front page news for weeks and made it to several national news outlets.  

After a two year investigation... after these guys spent two years in jail, lost their jobs, had their lives ruined (one even died in jail)... and after their homes were taken apart and yards dug up... the prosecuters dropped all of the charges due to lack of evidence... and this fact got a few paragraphs in the back of the newspaper.  

Who knows what really happaned, but I agree that it's a shame that in this day and age of 24 hours "media" cycles, the simple accusation of a sexually-based crime can ruin your career and your life, even if it has no basis in fact.

Monocle Smile

May 26th, 2012 at 5:41 PM ^

You DO realize that a major contributing factor to rapists walking are situations like this case, right? Women crying wolf make it that much harder for real victims to get justice. The woman indicated is definitely not a victim.

Just FYI, it certainly DOES sound like you're more okay with guys getting falsely accused than you let on. 


May 26th, 2012 at 6:05 PM ^

... but you realize that a much larger contributing factor to rapists never even being accused of rape in the first place is the fear women have from the backlash, being called a slut, their entire lives being dragged through the mud, etc... For every Brian Banks, there are 10s probably 100s of women who live silently with the fact they have been raped, because  of fear of the repurcussions.  Making it more difficult for them to share their story is surely not the answer. 

Your sarcastic tone, and that of many of this board (surprisingly), only further evinces the difficulties women face.


May 26th, 2012 at 7:11 PM ^

First, you are expressing my sentiments exactly.
I do agree that women who cry wolf provide fodder for people...and more importantly, hurt innocent people.
Additionally, men who continually sexualize women, and men who rape women, and push women also give good men a bad name too.

Two different truths.


May 26th, 2012 at 7:52 PM ^

I've had members of my family as well as close friends be on both sides of this discussion: falsey accussed until the accusser admitted the lie in court, as well as those too scared to go to the authorities despite the adament support of those around them. There are bad people in the world, and gender plays absolutely no role in that.


May 26th, 2012 at 10:31 PM ^

Your assertion about the relative numbers of false rape accusations and unreported rapes is unsubstantiated.  It relies on unsubstantiated surveys.  We'll never know what the true numbers are unless we develop into a Big Brother society with cameras everywhere.

"Making it more difficult for them to share their story is surely not the answer."

So what is the answer?  Should we continue business as usual and keep sending defendants to prison in sex offense cases without any real evidence?  Should "guilty until or even if proven innocent" still be the standard in sex offense cases?  Should we still continue dragging the names of the accused through the mud while shielding their accusers?  Don't the accused have the same basic human rights as their accusers?

You do realize we're discussing a case which shows how obscenely unfair the current system is towards the accused in sex offense cases, don't you?

If basic fairness and justice requires making it "more difficult" for sex offense accusers, then so be it.





May 26th, 2012 at 7:45 PM ^

you do realize that their is no perfect way to deal with rapes...There is an extensive grey area where victims rights and the rights of the accused blur. That what makes prosecuting cases like this difficult. All of the individuals on this blog condemn rape as well as falsely accusing someone (perjury), and so there is no reason to bicker. In this case, the girl benefitted financially and the victim suffered with time in jail that he did not deserve. Lets hope that the real victim can get his life back and this girl get the punishment the law decides best fits. 


May 26th, 2012 at 10:03 PM ^

How do you know "there are hundreds not held accountable" for "every guy falsely accused?  You don't.  For all we know, it could be the opposite.  And don't bring so-called "academic studies" into the argument since all "studies" I've seen rely on unsubstantiated survey answers.  There's no way to know what the actual numbers might be.

Your unsubstantiated assertion is commonly used to justify the  obscenely unjust "guilty until proven innocent" standard used against defendants (usually male) in alleged sex offense cases - the same standard that apparently ruined this poor guy's life.  


May 26th, 2012 at 3:02 PM ^

Most are unreported because the victims dont want to go through through the humiliating process, despite the fact that it ruins their lives. Women like this make it even more difficult for true victims to get some justice. You'll feel this way if you have daughters some day...  

South TX MFan

May 26th, 2012 at 4:41 PM ^

This is a subject that hits close to home. I was falsely accused of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault by a girl I hardly knew when I was 19. It was the most horrible experience of my life, sitting in jail wondering why and how the hell this happened. Thankfully I passed the polygraph convincingly enough and the lead investigator was able to determine that she was lying. If the ball had bounced just a little differently there's a chance I'd still be in prison. Of course after it was all said and done she walked away with no punishment. The whole thing did give me a different perspective and I NEVER assume anyone accused of anything is guilty.


May 26th, 2012 at 5:05 PM ^

Who knows if any of the money is left but Wanetta Gibson has recanted her admission of making it all up because she is worried about losing or repaying the money. Luckily it was recorded by a private investigator but when the DA asked her to state it again for the record she refused. That's just cold.

On a side note, it's doubtful any NFL team would take guy who hasn't played since high school but wouldn't he still be eligable to play in college? If so he may still have a shot at making it or at least earning his degree.

Interesting and sad story but it's a good post to share. Thanks MgoblueAF.


May 26th, 2012 at 6:25 PM ^

So......not to bring up the past....how do I ask without pissing someone off......Am I the only one who doesn't know what happened with Kellen Jones?


May 26th, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

It was rumored that he was party to a situation like the above, not necessarily full on rape but an offense of a sexual nature.  As he had the option to transfer right away to a different school it was suggested that he do so rather than go through the above process.


May 26th, 2012 at 7:52 PM ^

Let themgolawyers clear this up.

Why would she not be charged with 1) filing a false police report and/or 2) hindering an investigation  at the very least? Her behavior is criminal and should not  go unpunished.


May 26th, 2012 at 10:13 PM ^

Where's the justice?  She should spend at least as much time in prison as her victim.  It's arguable that her offense is far worse than rape since his freedom was taken from him and his life utterly destroyed.  Unlike a victim of rape, he couldn't go on with his life - he had no life.  And if not for dumb luck, he would have been labeled a "sex offender" and ex-convict for life with no hope of regaining a normal life or dignity.

And where's the outrage about the origiinal conviction?  How was he convicted without physical evidence?  Why are sex offense trials still decided llike a Salem Witch Trial?

As for the civil legal case and award, the school district should file a countersuit to reclaim the money and garnish her future wages.

Unfortunately, given the sorry state of our civil and criminal legal systems, I doubt either will occur and there will be no justice. 


May 26th, 2012 at 9:28 PM ^

see also: The tale of that college baseball player who played at FAU (IIRC). The kid with that crazy hit streak a few years ago. Very similar but stupid tramps forgot about cameras. Cameras in the resort essentially kept 3 dudes out of a Bahamian prision.