Posted on 11th Jun 2012 @ 10:13 AM
If used correctly, hidden cameras can be used to find secrets and confessions. They are a popular tool with law enforcement and private investigators. The latest example comes from a football star who was falsely accused of rape and sentenced to jail. Now, thanks to a hidden camera investigation, Brian Banks walks as a free man exonerated of his crimes.
Private Investigator Freddie Parish told reporters about how Banks, a promising high school football star who was being courted by many college football teams, lost it all and spent five years in prison after being falsely accused of rape. He has been freed thanks to the hidden camera evidence, and is now trying out for the Seattle Seahawks football team.
Banks called Parish last year to help him investigate the case after his accuser, Wanetta Gibson, sent him a friend request on Facebook and told Banks she wanted to “let bygones be bygones.” It was at that point that Parish came up with the plan to try to catch Gibson admitting that she made up the accusations.
As a result of the trial, Gibson’s family received $1.5 million dollars while Banks entered a plea bargain which had him serve five years in prison followed by five years on parole with a GPS tracking device strapped to his ankle. To get a confession out of Gibson, Paris placed several hidden cameras and recorders in his office to make it seem like there was no surveillance.
“There’s only one chance to get the goods,” Parish said. “I mean, you have got to make it right the first time.”
Wanetta Gibson accepted Banks’ invitation, and showed up, by bus, at the private investigator’s Signal Hill office for a chat with her old high school crush.
“It just wasn’t true at all,” Gibson said about her rape accusation while hidden cameras were rolling.
Banks then asked Gibson for help in clearing his name, so he could move on with his life.
Gibson said she was willing to help, but didn’t want to lose the $1.5 million settlement her family received from the Long Beach School District.
“I will go through with helping you, but all that money they gave us, I don’t want to have to pay it back, because that would take a long time,” she said on the video.
With Gibson on board, Parish was ready to execute the second part of his plan: He had Banks ask Gibson to return the next day to meet with the investigator.
“I needed to get her basically to recant everything she said Brian did ten years ago,” Parish told the NBC4 I-Team. “If I let this man down, I would have to live with that the rest of my life.”
The next day Gibson returned to Parish’s office; hidden cameras were rolling. Parish then asked the critical questions about the 2002 incident between Banks and Gibson.
“There was no doubt in my mind that this young man was innocent,” said Parish, who was personal friends with Banks since his son played high school football with Banks in Long Beach Polytechnic High in 2002.