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School sues woman over false rape accusation that led teenager to be jailed for five years

By Mason White 5:48 PM April 15, 2013
Wanetta Gibson 

By: Ryan Lee Hall
(Scroll down for video) School officials are outraged after a student who accused another student of rape admitted five years later that she lied.

The Long Beach, California Unified School District, is suing a former student after she falsely accused a former football star of raping her.

The student’s mother sued the school for lack of security after the alleged rape. The school paid the family $1.5 million in a settlement. The school is suing to recover the money plus their legal fees.

Wanetta Gibson was 15-years-old when she accused her classmate and football player, Brian Banks, 16, of sexually assaulting her at their high school. Banks insisted he did not have sex with the girl. “We were making out on the school stairwell and that was consensual,” Banks said.

His lawyer advised him to plead no contest and he was sentenced to five years in prison, and he had to register as a sex offender. When Banks was released from prison, Gibson contacted him through Facebook. The two meet at a private investigator’s office. During the first meeting, Gibson apologized to Banks for lying and offered to help clear his name.

Banks asked her to speak to the prosecutors but she refused because she feared she would have to return the settlement money she received from the school district. The second meeting was secretly recorded by the private investigator. Gibson was recording telling Banks: “I’m going to help you, but at the same time all the money we received, I mean, I do not want to have to pay it back.”

This recording was giving to the prosecutor, which led to the exoneration of Banks.

“Ruining someone’s life on false accusations, and then profiting from the lie is outright sickening. The woman must have had a hard time living with herself knowing that she ruined her classmate’s life. I am glad that she came clean and he is cleared of all wrongdoing,” Thomas Nelson, 22, who attended the Long Beach Polytechnic High School, told

Now, the school district is seeking to recover approximately $1.9 million, the money from the settlement and for the legal fees they spent defending itself against Gibson. The school is also seeking another $1 million in punitive damages.

Banks, once a star middle linebacker at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, is moving on with his life. He has recently signed a contract to play with the Atlanta Falcons and has become a spokesperson for the California Innocence Project, which works to exonerate the wrongfully accused.

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