26-year-old Brian Banks, who was falsely accused of rape and imprisoned, has finally been exonerated and will have his chance to play professional football.
The former high school football star was destined for the pro leagues. He was an outstanding linebacker during his school football career. But, at age 16, he was accused of rape and kidnapping, and spent five years in prison, another five on parole. He was being courted by several top schools for their football teams at the time.
Banks met his accuser on Facebook last year, after she contacted him. She felt guilty that he was not able to play football in college, so she admitted that she lied about the rape charges. He was officially exonerated in May, and is picking up where he left off.
Now, after trying out with NFL teams like the Minnesota Vikings, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Seattle Seahawks, he has been signed with Las Vegas Locomotives, a United Football League team.
“Size-wise, strength-wise, and all that kind of stuff, he’s in the right kind of profile,” Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, said after that first practice. “So he did a good job. We’ve got to look at the film and see what’s going on with that, but I was really proud of him today.”
“We’re very pleased to be able to welcome this young man to the UFL and give him an opportunity in football that was denied him years ago,” Locomotives coach Jim Fassel said in a statement.
Before his conviction, Banks had verbally agreed to play with Carroll while he was coaching at USC.
If you have been accused or convicted of a crime, exoneration, and expungement are very important legal pathways to freedom. A criminal record can prevent you from getting a job or an education, which can keep you from living the life you want. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help with expunging your criminal record. We offer free, confidential consultations, to contact us today.