UPDATE: 5-27-12 — 1:19 A.M. EST
Banks plans to file a claim against the state requesting money for the five years, two months that he spent in prison, his attorney told the Los Angeles Times. As previously, reported by Newsone, he was exonerated of rape after his accuser recanted her statement.
“We do not plan on taking any legal action against Gibson,” said Banks’ attorney, Justin Brooks of the California Innocence Project, referring to Banks’ accuser, Wanetta Gibson. “We do plan on filing a state claim for the $100 a day Brian is entitled to under State Law 4900 for every day he was wrongfully incarcerated.”
Brian Banks was 17-years-old in 2002 when Wanetta Gibson lied to her mother and school officials, telling them that he raped her in a stair-well at Long Beach Polytechnic High School. In that instant, his dreams of a collegiate football career at the University of California were shattered.
But now, after spending nearly 6 years in prison– and being exonerated after Gibson admitted that she lied about the rape — grassroots activists are fighting loudly on Banks’ behalf and a Facebook page has been created to encourage USC to reinstate the scholarship they offered him 2002.
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As previously reported by Newsone, the Trojans had their eye on Banks as a middle line-backer and the Facebook page, ” Fight On” for Brian Banks,” which at the time this article was published had 308 ‘Likes,’ is dedicated to helping Banks’ achieve his football dreams. Justin Brooks, a lawyer who heads the Innocence Project, said that Banks has remained on probation, under electronic monitoring, has had to register as a sex offender and has had trouble getting a job.
But he has never stopped training for a potential football career.
“Fight On” for Brian Banks wants your support so that just the opposite happens. As it pertains to Bank’s scholarship, they don’t want USC to let the opportunity just fade away.
For his part, Banks is looking ahead to the NFL. Brooks has appealed to professional teams to just give him a fair shot. According to him, Banks has been training 6 days a week in preparation of his big break.
“He has the speed and the strength. He certainly has the heart,” Brooks said. “I hope he gets the attention of people in the sports world.”
The road might not be so easy though, according to NFL consultant Gil Brandt, who says that though Banks’ is eligible for any team in the country, his time away from the game could hurt him.
“History tells us guys who come back after one or two years away when they go into the service find it awfully hard,” Brandt said. “And this has been much longer a time.”
Banks is keeping his head held high, though, and refuses to give up.
“It’s been a struggle. But I’m unbroken, and I’m still here today,” he said through his tears at a news conference.
While Banks may be ready to move on to the big leagues, this Facebook page is about opportunity. It’s asking USC to send the same message that the courts sent to Banks when they finally exonerated him. It’s asking USC to send the same message that the Innocence Project sent when they proved they had faith in him.
This page is saying: USC, show Brian Banks that he’s just as worthy of recognition and opportunity as he was before some little girl decided to throw his life away.
To show your support for Brian Banks, ‘Like’ “Fight On” for Brian Banks by clicking here.