Falsely Accused How Former High School Athlete Got His Life Back

I walk into a courtroom a convicted sex offender and I walk out of that courtroom a completely free and clear man my name is Brian banks and I am the subject of this a really amazing movie called Brian banks Brian banks was 16 years old when he was accused of a crime he did not commit in 2002 at the age of 16 I was on my way to USC I had one more year left in high school biggest year of my life for sports and education during that time I went to a known makeout spot with the girl that I've known since middle school and we kissed and we made out that was the extent of it but by the end of that day I was being arrested and accused of kidnapping and rape almost nine months in to fight in this case that I was presented with this plea bargaining opportunity if I pled no contest to one count of rape but they would drop all the other charges and I would undergo what was called a 90-day observation at Chino state prison where they would determine after I'd be interviewed by a psychologist and a counselor of whether I was to receive felony probation three years in prison or six years in prison I was given ten minutes to make this decision with this plea bargain and right after taking that deal a few weeks later I was sent to Chino state prison I received a favorable report after 90 days I came back to court and the judge still gave me the hard time I'm 60 I spent my 17 18 19 20 21st in my 22nd birthday behind bars it was tough it was not easy none of it was easy but I managed to get through it I paroled at the age of 22 August 29 2007 I was placed on extra custody parole for a mandatory sentence of five years which required me to wear a GPS tracking device on my ankle I had to register as a sex offender for the rest of my life I was at home online looking for a job and I got bored and so I got on Facebook and I noticed I had a friend request I clicked the friend request and the Box drops down and it was the woman who had accused me nine years ago now asking to be friends on Facebook seeing that friend request was for lack of better words unreal I didn't think it was her I didn't think that it was real I thought some of us creating a sick joke and you know making this fake profile and just see how I was wouldn't respond to you know receiving such a request but it was it was her a lot of me fighting for my life into to clear my name was done on my own and I did everything that I could from following my own appeal reaching out to numerous different attorneys to contacting the California Innocence Project numerous times all the way to a point to where I was successful at capturing the person who was responsible for all of this on tape recanting everything that they said had happened in May 24 2012 I walked out of that courtroom a completely free and clear man right after that one of the first questions was now that you got your life back you know what's next and I said I want to play football I think you got a shot at the NFL signing with the Atlanta Falcons that was a dream come true you know what better than the dream come true it was it was dreams restore I was I was given a dream back I had an opportunity to play with the Falcons for four games before moving on to do a host of other things outside of football the talk began that this story seemed like a story straight out of a movie I have this really amazing guy by the name of Aldous Hodge who plays me in the movie a super talented actor but an even better person in real life I'm thankful to have him on my side because exact words is I don't want to act this out I want to become who you are I can honestly say that beyond this film he's one of my best friends he's such a great guy he's humble he's wise I'm so impressed with the way he embodied Mike's my character my my life story and put so much energy and emotion and to make it short the messages conveyed the right way it was very tough for me to watch the film for the first time I remember I went to a private studio and washing the theater by myself I was left to myself to watch this film and I think every emotion that I had been keeping inside of me everything that I had gone through just you know surface in that moment and I was proud with the final product I feel that this is a message for people that we can no longer allow people innocent people to sit in cages like animals for things that they didn't do this is also an inspirational story of how to see situations and not allow them to deter you or stop you from being where you want to be in life to not allow one moment in time to dictate the duration of your life that no one will work harder for you than you and the things that you want in life I'm a dad now I got a six month old boy and he's he's already busy he's crawling he's pulling from things that standing up he's saying mama and Bob already I sitting up on his own you know he's a amazing kid that's doing some great things that's my life now I'm still advocating for those who can't speak for themselves I'm on the advisory board of the California Innocence Project and I'm on the advisory board of the National Registry of exonerations I'm still marching I'm still you know tweeting and talking about injustice I'm still standing up for those who can't stand for themselves I wrote my own book my memoirs entitled what set me free so I'm doing I'm pretty much in that same Lane of fighting for truth fighting for justice and equality and I'm using my hardship and traumatic experiences as fuel so to propel me forward towards tourists and that no one has to experience what I went through [Music]