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Football player's rape conviction overturned after victim recants

Imagine being arrested and charged with rape. While that is scary enough as it is, many people in Washington, D.C., would be even more frightened if they knew they were innocent. Knowing that someone was so cruel and slandering as to fabricate a story or sexual assault and to not tell police the truth as it becomes increasingly obvious that the person who allegedly committed the crime would be prosecuted is mind-boggling for many people. Luckily for a former high-school football player and current NFL-hopeful, the woman who claimed he raped her has finally told law enforcement that she made the whole story up.

In 2002, a then-16-year-old high school student pled no contest to rape and kidnapping charges filed against him after a childhood friend accused him of raping her in their high school. Though some may find it odd that he plead no contest when he did not commit the crime, the plea deal would ensure the teenager would only spend five years behind bars and five years on probation. If he had gone to trial, he could have been sentenced to 41 years to life.

According to reports, the pair had never even engaged in sexual intercourse. Rather, they had started kissing in a stairwell when the boy said something that made the girl mad. Instead of dealing with those feelings of upset in a healthy manner, she told police that he had forced her down the hallway and raped her. It is now clear that the kissing was consensual.

It is unknown what prompted this woman to confess to her false accusations, but the now 26-year-old man had little trouble getting his conviction reversed and his name cleared. Both his attorney and the prosecutor recommended that his conviction be reversed. Though there was no guarantee that the judge would follow through with those recommendations, he had no hesitation doing so.

This story reminds us that just because someone has taken a plea deal does not mean that he or she is actually guilty of sexual assault. Rather, he or she may be trying to make the best out of a horrible situation by reducing a possible sentence.

Source: USA Today, "Brian Banks has rape and kidnapping convictions overturned," Jim Halley, May 24, 2012

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013