In 2002, Brian Banks was living his dream. He was a popular standout linebacker at Poly High School in Long Beach, about to embark on his senior year. By the time he was 16, he was already being noticed by some of the best colleges in the country, yet had already made a verbal commitment to take his talents to USC. He was definitely headed towards being one of the top prospects in his draft class when his time came to realize his dream of one day playing in the NFL. But all of that was sidelined one summer afternoon, when following a romantic encounter with 15 year old classmate Wanetta Gibson turned bad. Really bad. When they parted ways, Brian thought things were good. But they weren’t. Later that same day, Wanetta reported to police that Brian Banks had raped her. And with that, Brian’s life as he knew it was over. A decade later, this story would take an unexpected turn, and in examining this case today, it opens up an important conversation about women and sexual assault.
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