Exonerated Former Poly High Student
|(May 27, 2012) -- On May 24, Brian Banks, 26, was judicially exonerated of a felony rape conviction that stemmed from an allegation ten years earlier when he and a then-15 year old girl were both Poly High students. She alleged that he raped her.
Mr. Banks, then a star Poly High football player with a bright college future, was arrested and prosecuted for the alleged rape. Facing a roughly 40 year prison term if he'd gone to trial and were convicted, he pleaded "no contest." He served over five years in state prison.
The female complainant sued LBUSD in connection with the alleged on-campus rape and received a sizable settlement. Media accounts indicate that she allegedly recently recanted the rape allegation.
In court on May 24, a Deputy District Attorney agreed that the case should be dismissed, and Mr. Banks was freed from the felony conviction.
LATimes.com says Mr. Banks has indicated that he plans to seek $100 per day from the state for each day of his wrongful conviction/incarceration. This remedy stems from CA Penal Code section 4900, a state law that enables a person wrongly convicted of a felony crime against the state to file a claim with the CA Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board "for the pecuniary injury sustained by him or her through the erroneous conviction and imprisonment."
To recover compensation under the statute, Mr. Banks must prove his claim to the Board (we list its three members below)...which then reports its findings to the state legislature. The Assembly and state Senate must then appropriate [by voted action] the sum of $100 a day (which is exempt from state tax).
CA Penal Code sections 4900 et seq. state that at the CA Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board hearing:
[CA Penal Code section 4903]...the claimant shall introduce evidence in support of the claim, and the Attorney General may introduce evidence in opposition thereto. The claimant must prove the facts set forth in the statement constituting the claim, including the fact that the crime with which he or she was charged was either not committed at all, or, if committed, was not committed by him or her, the fact that he or she did not, by any act or omission on his or her part, intentionally contribute to the bringing about of his or her arrest or conviction for the crime with which he or she was charged, and the pecuniary injury sustained by him or her through his or her erroneous conviction and imprisonment.
If the evidence supports the claim, the Board must "report the facts of the case and its conclusions to the next Legislature, with a recommendation that it appropriate a sum to indemnify the claimant...and the amount of the appropriation recommended shall be equivalent to $100 per day of incarceration" [which isn't treated as gross income under state tax law] [CA Penal Code section 4904].
Who's on the CA Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board? It's comprised of three members: the Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency (Anna Caballero), the State Controller (John Chiang) and a public member appointed by the Governor (currently Michael Ramos, San Bernardino County District Attorney).
The statute doesn't state that it's an exclusive remedy...leaving Mr. Banks presumably free to pursue other judicial remedies (which he may or may not choose to pursue).
Following-up on other aspects of the case, LBReport.com asked the Long Beach Unified School District and the L.A. County District Attorney's office on May 25 (via their respective press offices) if they had any statements for publication regarding possible actions, if any, with respect to the then-Poly student/complainant who'd alleged the
"No," was the reply from the L.A. County District Attorney's office.
"The school district cannot comment, due to the confidential nature of a matter that involved minors," replied LBUSD.
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