With the advancement of technology and DNA analysis has come the ability to sometimes scientifically prove or disprove instances of rape. In fact, an FBI study in 2012 noted that between 2% and 8% of rape allegations made to law enforcement agencies across the United States are false. This amounts to 2,000 to 7,000 false accusations of rape each year, leaving the lives of innocent people shattered along the way. One football standout serves as an example of how a false accusation of rape in Long Beach can derail your entire future.
While being raped is a traumatic and horrifying situation for thousands of people annually, it is important that you fully understand California’s definition of rape and the severe legal consequences for making a false accusation of rape.
Brian Banks – An Unfortunate Statistic
Brian Banks, a football standout in Long Beach, California was on his way to a promising career in professional sports before a rape accusation was made against him in 2002. Wanetta Gibson, a 15-year-old at the time, accused Banks of rape and kidnapping, derailing his future as a USC football player. She claimed that Banks dragged her into a stairway at their Long Beach high school and raped her. As a result, Banks faced 41 years to life in prison.
On July 3, 2003, Banks was sentenced to six years in prison after he pleaded no contest. He served five years in prison and then was released on parole while having to register as a sex offender, shattering his reputation. In the meantime, the family of Banks’ accuser won a settlement with the Long Beach Unified School District for $750,000 after suing the school district for inadequate security on campus.
Banks’ accuser confessed that the rape accusations were false to a private investigator hired by Banks in 2011. His conviction was overturned in 2012. For making false allegations, Gibson was ordered to pay a $2.6 million judgment to the Long Beach Unified School District, which included the $750,000 that she was originally awarded and punitive damages.
Banks was exonerated and able to pursue his professional football career. He began training following his exoneration, and was able to earn a position with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons during the 2013 season.
Defining Rape in Long Beach (PC 261)
Penal Code 261defines rape as an individual engaging in sexual intercourse with another person against that person’s will or without that person’s consent. In order to be convicted of rape in California, the prosecution must prove one of the following circumstances existed beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The act was accomplished through physical force or violence;
- Duress – You were forced either directly, or it was implied (for example, a professor tells you that you will not pass the class without having sex with him);
- Menace – a threat;
- Illicits fear or bodily harm to oneself or another;
- Fear of retaliation: a threat to kidnap, or falsely imprison; or
- Fraud – convincing the victim that the sexual act serves a “professional purpose.”
It may also be considered rape if the alleged victim was too intoxicated to consent or unconscious.
What is Perjury in Long Beach? (PC 118)
California Penal Code 118 states that every person who willfully states true any material matter which he or she knows to be false while under oath is guilty of perjury. This includes any testimony, declarations, depositions, or certifications as administered by the State of California.
What is the Punishment for Perjury in California? (PC 118)
Making a false claim of rape is considered perjury in California. Perjury is a felony under PC 118. If you are found guilty of perjury, you can be sentenced to up to four years in state prison.
These are steep penalties that can affect the rest of your life. If you are facing perjury charges, you need the help of a skilled attorney who can obtain the best possible legal outcome in your case.
Can I Be Successfully Sued for Monetary Damages if I Falsely Accuse Someone of Rape?
If you make a false allegation of rape against another person, you can be successfully sued for monetary damages.
Many of the individuals who feel that they have been falsely accused of rape take action against their accusers by suing them in civil court. In Virginia, Elizabeth Coast, who falsely accused a former neighbor of rape in 2000 was sentenced to two months in jail and ordered to pay $90,000 in restitution for perjury in 2008, after admitting to the false accusation.
The accuser in the Brian Banks case was ordered to pay the Long Beach Unified School District $2.6 million.
Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are facing charges of perjury, it can have a major impact on your life. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending our clients accused of perjury for over 40 years.
With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, Wallin & Klarich has an established reputation of providing its clients with round-the-clock support in Southern California.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 to discuss your case. We will be there when you call.