(LONG BEACH, Calif.) -- A former California high school football star who spent six years in prison for a kidnapping and rape conviction was exonerated on Thursday after his accuser recanted her story.
Brian Banks, 26, broke down and cried in court after prosecutors said they would not stand in the way of his conviction being reversed.
In 2002, when Banks was 17 and being recruited by major Division I football programs, he was accused of raping Long Beach Polytechnic High School classmate Wanetta Gibson. His lawyers advised him to plead no contest because he was facing 41 years in prison. Banks had completed his six-year term and was on parole as a registered sex offender.
Banks was exonerated thanks in part to the California Innocence Project, which helps release people wrongfully convicted of crimes.
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