In her column at Essence, The Root's contributing editor Demetria L. Lucas says that the woman who told this life-shattering lie about former high school football player Brian Banks deserves to pay.
Last week, a former high school athlete was exonerated on rape charges after his accuser admitted she had lied about the sexual assault.
In 2003, Wanetta Gibson, then a high school sophomore, accused Brian Banks, a star athlete, of rape. On the advice of his counsel, Banks, then 16, pleaded “no contest” to forcible rape, and served 6 years in jail for the alleged crime. After Banks was released from prison, Gibson, who successfully sued her school district for a $1.5 million settlement in conjunction with the rape charges, “friended” Banks on Facebook and later met with him to confess she had lied about being raped. She offered to help Banks clear his name, although she did not agree to repeat the confession to authorities because she feared having to return the settlement money.
Banks plans to file a claim against the state requesting money for the years he spent in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times. His lawyers say he is entitled to $100 a day for every day he spent behind bars under state law. Banks does not have plans to file a claim against Gibson for making false accusations.
Read Demetria L. Lucas' entire piece at Essence.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.