Cornelius Walker asserts that the woman who falsely accused Long Beach football star Brian Banks of rape should pay for her crime.
False allegations of rape, such as this story, don’t readily appear so cut and dry. Is it the case of two people disagreeing about what was consensual? Is it a disturbed child using the system to hurt a relative? Perhaps a scorned lover retaliating against an ex? From the outside, the decision to prosecute a rape case seems to be a simple question of whether there appears to be enough evidence to put before a jury. What is less clear is when to prosecute an accusation of rape as having been falsely made. What of someone who truly believes she was raped, even though the evidence indicates she probably consented? Do we lock up a woman for the poor decisions of her 11 year old self? What if she was simply betrayed by her memory and police procedure, as in the case of Ronald Cotton?
This story out of Long Beach does not suffer from a lack of clarity. Brian Banks’s promising life was taken away from him when Wanetta Gibson accused him of raping her, an accusation she knew to be false at the time. Upon release from jail, having been “friended” on Facebook by his accuser, he recorded an admission that her allegation was false. While Banks has been exonerated, the question now is what prosecutors should do, with Gibson refusing to confess to the false allegation. I think the answer is clear. Banks’s mother sold her home and car to pay for her son’s defense; the $750,000 settlement Gibson received from the Long Beach school district should be more than enough to pay for hers.
What do you think? Should Wanetta Gibson go to jail for this crime?
Would charging Wanetta Gibson discourage other false accusers from recanting their accusations and therefore keep more innocent men in jail?
Or would charging Gibson discourage other young women (Gibson was a minor at the time of the accusation) from making false accusations?
Photo: AP/California Western School of Law