Former Long Beach high school football star will get chance to play professional football
Exonerated for rape
LONG BEACH, Calif.—A former Long Beach high school football star who spent more than five years behind bars for rape but had his conviction overturned when his accuser recanted her story will get his chance to play professional football, an attorney said Tuesday.
Brian Banks, 26, was exonerated in May after a judge in Long Beach agreed to throw out his 2003 conviction for forcible rape involving a girl on the campus of Long Beach Polytechnic High School a year earlier. Banks had dreamed of playing professional football and was expecting to attend USC on a football scholarship when he was arrested.
Although he received some interest from NFL teams since his release—including from former USC coach Pete Carroll, now the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks—Banks went unsigned.
But Justin Brooks, director of the California Innocence Project that fought for his release, said, "On Friday, there will be an announcement in Las Vegas about Brian's future in football. I am ecstatic that it looks like he will finally get to make his dream of playing football a reality.''
CBS2 reported that Banks has signed a contract with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League. The team is coached by Jim Fassel, the former coach of the NFL's New York Giants.
Banks, a middle linebacker, was 16 when he was accused of rape on July 8, 2002, and 17 when he pleaded no contest to forcible rape in exchange for a six-year sentence—considerably shorter than the 41-year-to-life term he could have faced if he had gone to trial and been convicted.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today reestablished a $10,000 reward for information leading to whoever fatally shot a 26-year-old Long Beach resident and left him lying in the street.
Supervisor Don Knabe, who recommended reinstating the reward, which had expired, called the shooting “heinous.”
Lashown Fils was killed on Jan. 11, 2012, at 3:55 a.m. in the 200 block of West 14th Street.
NEW YORK, N.Y. — Hip Hop artist Rick Ross learned Thursday he’d been dumped by the sportswear company Reebok after the company decided he hadn’t shown an “appropriate level of remorse” for using lyrics in one of his songs that seemed to allude to raping a woman.
In the song “U.O.E.N.O,” Ross raps: “Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.”
LONG BEACH, Calif. — A former Long Beach high school football star who spent more than five years behind bars for rape but was exonerated after his accuser recanted her story came closer to his dream of playing in the National Football League today when he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons.
Brian Banks, 27, gushed thanks on his Twitter page to the team’s management and players, saying, “Thank you for accepting me into the family.”
It’s not over in Steubenville, Ohio.
Although a judge has found two Steubenville teenagers guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in a case that showcased jaw-dropping examples of teenage alcohol use and tawdry text messaging—all wrapped in allegations of a cover-up—Ohio’as attorney general said Monday it’s now time for a grand jury to look at whether anyone else should be charged.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A state appeals court panel today ordered a new sentencing hearing for a gang member convicted of killing a 16-year-old honor student after opening fire on a crowd of people following a homecoming football game in Long Beach.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal sent the case against Tom Love Vinson back to Long Beach Superior Court Judge Mark Kim for re-sentencing.