Brian Banks' accuser didn't want to repay settlement, video shows
A day after an NFL team invited exonerated rape convict Brian Banks to its mini camp, surveillance video from Banks’ private investigator has surfaced that apparently shows the former football star’s accuser admitting that she lied.
The Times reported that Banks, 26, had served five years in prison for the alleged rape and was being required to register as a sex offender when he logged onto Facebook last year and had a friend request from his accuser, Wanetta Gibson.
Banks got Gibson to recant the sexual assault claim, despite concerns that she would have to repay a large settlement to Long Beach schools. The settlement is confidential, but the attorney who represented the school district during the civil negotiations told The Times the case was settled for $750,000.
In a video and story by NBC4, private investigator Freddie Parish said that he hid a camera in a potted plant and a camera pen in a basket to help record statements by Gibson when she met with Banks in the investigator’s office.
“There’s only one chance to get the goods,” Parish told the station. “You’ve got to get it right the first time.”
The two former school mates met twice in Parish’s office. In the first meeting, Gibson told Banks: “I would go through with helping you,” but admitted she was nervous about having to pay back part or all of the settlement.
“All that money they gave us, I mean gave me, I don’t want to have to pay it back, all of it, because that would take a long time,” Gibson said on surveillance camera in the NBC video.
Parish told NBC4 that he got Gibson to meet in his office again later to officially recant the testimony. At that meeting, the video captures Parish asking the accuser “Did he rape you?”
“No,” Gibson said, “he did not rape me.”
The video footage was enough to overturn Banks’ rape conviction in court after he had already served five years in prison.
News of that overturned conviction also helped Banks rekindle his dreams of playing in the NFL.
The Times' Sam Farmer reported that after a one-day tryout on Thursday, Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll liked enough of what he saw to bring Banks back to the team’s mini-camp. Carroll previously coached at USC and had showed interest in recruiting Banks, a local standout.
“He’s going to have to make something happen,” Carroll said in a news conference. “He’s going to have to go for it. We’re going to have to be careful, but he’s going to have to go for it and show us some stuff.”
Asked if Banks could make the team, Carroll said "it's very possible."
-- Matt Stevens