Brian Banks accuser sued by Long Beach school district
Friday, April 12, 2013
By Elex Michaelson
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — The Long Beach Unified School District is suing a woman who falsely accused former student and football star Brian Banks of rape, saying it wants to get back some of the money it paid her in a settlement.
The school district wants to press criminal charges against Wanetta Gibson. The district says the lawsuit was filed months ago, but Gibson was finally served Friday.
It’s all possible thanks to one dramatic moment.
Gibson sat down in a private investigator’s office last year and made a startling confession about Brian Banks, the man she once accused of rape. Her recantation was captured on video. Gibson is asked if Banks raped her. She can be seen and heard saying, “No, he did not.” She is asked if Banks kidnapped her. Again, she replies, “No, he did not.”
Soon after, Banks was exonerated.
Gibson had previously claimed that Banks raped her at Long Beach Polytechnic High School while they were both students there. Banks was then a football stand-out committed to play at the University of Southern California. Instead, he spent years behind bars.
Gibson sued the school district and won $750,000. Now the district wants its money back. It is suing her for the $750,000, and more than $1 million in damages.
A district spokesman said in a statement: “Our school district takes seriously our obligation to be a good steward of public funds. It’s important to convey that our school board will take action to recoup any losses if someone attempts to defraud our schools of much-needed resources.”
It’s a happier ending for Banks, who recommitted himself to fulfilling his NFL dream. Last year he earned a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks, and just recently he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons.
Banks was in San Diego Friday night practicing for the upcoming season. He did not return an email regarding Friday night’s development.
But in the past he’s said he’s no longer concerned with Wanetta Gibson and doesn’t plan to sue her himself. He just wants to focus on his life and football.