Brian Banks. Does that name sound familiar? It should. He is one of numerous men every year who fall victim to false accusations of rape or sexual assault. In Brian’s case, this allegation derailed not only his football career, but almost took away the rest of his life as a free man. Instead of spending a possible four decades in prison, his attorney convinced him to accept a plea deal of 18 months to five years; he got the maximum. Brian maintained his innocence all the while serving time.
Brian, 16 at the time, was accused of raping classmate Wanetta Gibson. Wanetta alleged that Brain dragged her into the stairway of their high school and sexually assaulted her. Both Wanetta and her mother, Wanda Rhodes, sued the school district, saying the school campus was not a safe environment. Wanda and Wanetta were awarded $1.5 million from the Long Beach Unified School District.
Upon his release from prison, Brian contacted Wanetta via social media and asked to meet up with her. At their meeting, she admitted that she lied about the incident. Brian was secretly taping the conversation. The court prosecutors eventually overturned Brian’s sentence, and the District sued the mother and daughter for $2 million. Brian did go on to be drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, and also serves as a spokesman for the California Innocence Project.
Like Brian, many men find themselves accused of sexual assault or rape. Why is that? Why would a person intentionally try to destroy a person’s life with false accusations of rape?
There have been data collected on college campuses as to why women file false accusations of rape against men. The reasons are astounding.
First up – Regret
College is a time for discovering yourself and figuring out who you are and what path in life you want to take. It is also a time to make mistakes; some worse than others. The data shows that some college women regret “hooking up” with a certain person, for whatever reason. Maybe he didn’t call her back, or he made her do the ritualistic “walk of shame,” or she feels she was used just for his physical pleasure. Instead of facing the individual, they want to punish him. Fortunately, a lot of these false accusations of rape are retracted — and rightfully so.
Next – Revenge
Breaking up with someone is hard, and as a teenager in college emotions are at their highest. Feelings come and go as quickly as a season of “Game of Thrones.” One minute you’re in love with one person, and the next minute you can’t stand the person. With volatile emotions, many people don’t know how to handle a breakup, so they want to hurt the person. Many campus police officers say there are many cases of women reporting their ex-boyfriend raped them, only for the officer to found out there was recent breakup. Once the accuser calms down, they often admit to it being made up.
And Finally – Attention
Instances like this are pretty rare, but it does happen. Someone who feels ignored or abandoned may be seeking attention — any attention. One campus officer said there was a case of a freshman female who had no friends and wanted to fit in badly. She went to a party one night and a guy started talking to her. They spent the night talking and she thought there was a connection. However, she never heard from him again and she went back to being “invisible.” She filed a rape report and in doing so, got the support and empathy of everyone on campus. That is, until everyone found out it was a hoax. Then she was an outcast and withdrew from the school.
There is never a good reason to file a false accusation of rape. It can severely damage not just a reputation, but a future as well. Contact a Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney for representation if you have been accused of a rape charge in the state of Utah.