When you are a parent of a teen, there are no dearth of things to worry about. These days, it seems, false accusations of rape are one of them. There are a growing number of cases in which we are discovering an imprisoned young man was falsely accused.
That fact was further highlighted when we learned that Wanetta Gibson's 1993 claim -- that her 17-year-old classmate Brian Banks had raped her -- turned out to be a lie. He spent five years of his life in prison before being exonerated. It's a tragedy that not only ruins that person's life, but also can cast doubt when other women come forward with truthful claims. Though, a recent ruling will make people as unscrupulous as Gibson think twice before lying.
She originally said that Banks had kidnapped and raped her. After he was convicted, she won a huge settlement form the Long Beach school district. At the time, Banks was a high school football player with a scholarship to play at USC the next year. That all ended, thanks to Gibson. However, after Banks was released, she admitted she had lied.
It seems Gibson felt guilty for what she had done, but refused to tell prosecutors because she didn't want to give the money back. So Banks taped one of their conversations. He was officially exonerated in May 2012 and now the courts have ordered her to will have to pay back the $750,000 settlement and an extra $1million in damages, as well as interest and legal fees all totaling $2.6 million.
If you ask me, that's not enough. She nearly ruined this man's life. Not only did he not get a chance to go to college, he was labeled a felony sex offender. She should be put in jail, perhaps for the same number of years she stole from Banks.
Lucky for him, he is still athletically fit. His case garnered so much attention, he was able to try out for a football team and miraculously earned a spot on the Atlanta Falcons. It's an unusually happy ending to a story like this.
Do you think Gibson should go to jail for what she did?
Image via Victor/Flickr