The kidnap-rape conviction of a once-promising prep football star was dismissed Thursday following a recantation by his accuser.
Brian Banks collapsed in sobs on the counsel table during a court hearing where a prosecutor quickly conceded the decade-old case and moved for the dismissal.
In the summer of 2002, Banksâ€™ future looked bright: He was a 17-year-old high school football star being heavily recruited by a number of colleges. But in a single day that changed with the accusations of kidnapping and rape by a female student.
He maintained there was no rape and their sexual contact was consensual, but his lawyer urged him to plead no contest rather than risk a sentence of 41 years to life in prison if convicted. He followed the advice and went to prison for six years, shattering his dreams of gridiron glory.
Lawyers for the California Innocence Project were prepared to argue he should be exonerated.
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In a strange turn of events, the woman who accused him a decade ago friended him on Facebook when he got out of prison. Wanetta Gibson explained she wanted to â€ślet bygones be bygones.â€ť