LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Brian Banks, a former Long Beach Poly High School football star falsely accused of rape, has been signed to a professional football team, CBS2 learned Tuesday.
Banks, 26, signed with the United Football League’s Las Vegas Locomotives, whose season kicks off on Sept. 19.
Banks was accused of raping a high school classmate at the age of 16. At the time, he was a standout middle linebacker who had attracted serious interest from several universities, including USC.
In 2003, he was convicted of the charges and served five years in prison and five years on parole, but always maintained his innocence.
On May 24, Banks was exonerated with the help of the California Innocence Project.
The project’s director, Justin Brooks, said hospital records show the alleged victim said Brian left his DNA evidence inside her. However, according to lab results, not a single molecule of his DNA was recovered from the victim or her clothing.
Years later, in two videotaped conversations, the alleged victim repeatedly said the rape never happened.
Earlier this summer, Banks was invited to try out for six NFL teams, but didn’t make their rosters.
An official announcement from the Locomotives is expected on Friday.