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Brian Banks' accuser ordered to pay school district $2.6 million

Brian Banks' accuser ordered to pay school district $2.6 million
Former Long Beach high school football star Brian Banks hugs his mother, Leomia Myers, outside the Long Beach courthouse after his rape conviction was overturned. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

The Long Beach Unified School District has won a $2.6-million judgment in its lawsuit against a former student who falsely accused classmate and football player Brian Banks of rape, officials said Thursday.

"The court recognizes that our school district was a victim in this case," district Supt. Christopher J. Steinhauser said in a statement. "This judgment demonstrates that when people attempt to defraud our school system, they will feel the full force of the law."

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The Los Angeles County Superior Court judgment handed down June 17 includes the $750,000 settlement the district had originally paid to Wanetta Gibson, as well as interest, attorney fees and $1 million in punitive damages.

Gibson was 15 when she accused Banks, then 17 and a promising football star at Polytechnic High School, who spent five years in prison before she recanted.

After being exonerated last year, Banks, now 27, is finally getting his crack at an NFL career. He was signed by the Atlanta Falcons.

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Twitter: @jeanmerl

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