Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Brian Banks



Rape and Kidnapping (abduction)


6 years and 5 years probation

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:


County or Region of Crime:

Los Angeles

City of Crime:

Long Beach


Judicially Exonerated

Summary of Case:

"Brian Banks was wrongly convicted in 2002 of raping and kidnapping his acquaintance Wanetta Gibson on the campus of Long Beach Poly High School in Long Beach, California. The 16-year-old Banks claimed the sex was consensual, but facing a 40 year prison term if he was convicted after a trial, he pled guilty and was sentenced to six years. He served about 5 years and 2 months in custody before he was released in 2007. Gibson and her family sued the Long Beach Unified School District and they settled the lawsuit for $750,000. In 2011 Gibson contacted Banks through his Facebook page and agreed to meet with him and an investigator. During that meeting that was secretly recorded Gibson stated, "No he did not rape me." Based Gibson's recantation that the sex was consensual and a reinvestigation of his case, Banks filed a motion to withdraw his plea and reverse his conviction. On May 24, 2012 his motion was granted and the charges were dismissed. On June 8, 2015 the California Legislature passed authorization for Banks to be paid $142,200 under California's wrongful conviction compensation statute, and on June 17 Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation. After Banks' exoneration, the Long Beach USD sued Gibson to return the $750,000 she was paid based on her false rape claim."

Conviction Caused By:

Perjury by the alleged victim who made up the story that Banks sexually assaulted her.

Innocence Proved By:

"The charges were dismissed on May 24, 2012 after the alleged victim recanted and stated no sexual assault occurred."

Defendant Aided By:

California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law

Compensation Awarded:

"$142,200 (State of Calif., June 2015)"

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

"Former top Calif. football prospect exonerated, By Linda Deutsch (AP Special Correspondent), The Seattle Times, May 25, 2012"

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

"Rape conviction of Brian Banks is overturned, By Mike Hiserman (staff), Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2012"

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

"A 10-year nightmare over rape conviction is over, By Ashley Powers (staff), Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2012"

Information Location 3:


Information Source 4:

"Unraveling the fabric of justice in the Brian Banks case, By Patt Morrison (staff), Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2012"

Information Location 4:


Information Source 5:

"State lawmakers approve $968,700 in claims for wrongful convictions, By Phil Willon and Patrick McGreevy (Reporting from Sacramento), The Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2015"

Information Location 5:


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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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