The young woman who falsely accused Long Beach football player Brian Banks of sexual assault is now facing legal action herself. Wanetta Gibson was a Long Beach Poly High student in 2002 when she sued the school for security lapses that contributed to her alleged rape. She has since gone on record to recant the rape claim, the alleged perpetrator Brian Banks has been exonerated, and now the school district, which paid her a $750,000 settlement and altogether spent nearly $2 million in legal fees, wants its money back.
The trouble now is that Gibson is nowhere to be found, and according to records she appears to be broke. What does the school district stand to gain from this lawsuit?
Meanwhile, while the D.A. has so far refused to file criminal charges against her, might this lead to them changing their mind? Might Gibson get away with no recourse at all? Might going after her assets (and potentially filing criminal charges) set a frightening precedent for future rape victims who might fear the consequences if they should be found guilty of making false claims?
John Nockleby, Director of the Civil Justice Program at Loyola Law School
David Wohl, local criminal defense attorney