When it comes to matters of sex crimes, rape charges or domestic violence, we in Montgomery County need to know that we should never rush to judgment and assume an individual is guilty until all the facts are in. A recent story that has made national news forcefully makes this point.
Brian Banks was charged and convicted of an alleged rape that occurred in 2002. Brian then served more than five years of his sentence in prison. However, after being released from prison, the woman that accused him of rape then admitted that she had fabricated the whole scenario. Just this month, prosecutors officially moved to drop all charges.
After Brian was charged with the rape, his attorney advised him to plead no-contest to the charges to avoid a lifetime sentence. Under the circumstances of the evidence presented, his attorney felt that a jury would likely convict him. It’s impossible to second guess the wisdom of his attorney’s advice without knowing all the facts of this situation. But such a situation does show that evidence can be misleading, and we should always assume someone charged is innocent until guilt is proven.
Brian was only 16-years old when he was charged with the crime. He was a former football star for his high school team, and he planned on attending college. But because of the false allegations, his future plans were dramatically altered and he lost many of the best years of his life.
This story may yet have a happy ending. Brian is now had offers from several NFL organizations to try out for their teams. Despite having every right to be bitter about what occurred, Brian is still trying to make something out of his life.
Source: NY Daily News, “Brian Banks to get tryout with Seahawks, Redskins, Chiefs Dolphins,” by Nina Mandell, May 31, 2012