Onetime top Calif. football prospect exonerated

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- A former high school football star whose dreams of a pro career were shattered by a rape conviction burst into tears Thursday as a judge threw out the charge that sent him to prison for more than five years.Brian Banks, now 26, pleaded no contest 10 years ago on the advice of his lawyer after a childhood friend falsely accused him of attacking her on their high school campus.In a strange turn of events, the woman, Wanetta Gibson, friended him on Facebook when he got out of prison.In an initial meeting with him, she said she had lied; there had been no kidnap and no rape and she offered to help him clear his record, court records state.But she refused to repeat the story to prosecutors because she feared she would have to return a $1.5 million payment from a civil suit brought by her mother against Long Beach schools.During a second meeting that was secretly videotaped, she told Banks, \'I will go through with helping you but it's like at the same time all that money they gave us

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