The world was at Brian Banks' feet — a football scholarship to the University of Southern California, dreams of a career in the NFL — before he was convicted of rape in 2003 while in high school, serving nearly six years in prison after accepting a plea bargain.
But a decade later, having steadfastly maintained his innocence all the while, Banks' name has been cleared and the charges dismissed after his accuser, Wanetta Gibson, recently recanted her testimony, according to msnbc.com.
Although Banks has been out of prison since 2007, he had remained on probation — including an electronic monitoring bracelet — and had to register as a sex offender. Now that the conviction has been wiped from the record, the bracelet and the sex offender designation are gone as well.
Banks' future plans involve first producing a documentary about his life, and then eventually taking a chance on a return to football. He has been training for it since he was released.
"I think that any team that gives me an opportunity would be really impressed with what I can do despite all of what I've been through these past 10 years," he told The Today Show's Ann Curry.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@toniamoore