Former Rising Football Star Brian Banks Exonerated In Rape Case

Source:  Christina Ng / ABC News

A rising football star in southern California whose career was brought to a sudden halt by a kidnap-rape conviction that landed him in prison was exonerated today after his accuser contacted him on Facebook recanted her story.

“I’m just thankful to be free now and have the opportunity like anybody else to thrive in life,” Brian Banks told ABC News Radio today. “I’m completely overwhelmed with so many emotions and feelings all at once.”

In a hearing today, Banks shook from sobbing when prosecutors said they did not object to his conviction being reversed. His mother and girlfriend who were in court shrieked with happiness.

Banks, now 26, was 17 in 2002 and “by all accounts, a rising football star,” according to court documents. Many believed the 6-foot-4, 225 pound athlete was bound for the NFL. The University of Southern California, a Division 1 school, had offered him a full-ride scholarship and a slew of other schools—including Michigan State University and University of Kansas—were pursuing the middle linebacker.

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