SAN DIEGO — The story of Brian Banks, a man who was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault, is now a movie.
The movie premiered at Balboa Park’s Museum of Photographic Arts on Saturday. Dozens of people hit the red carpet, including actors, directors and others who were exonerated as Banks was by the California Innocence Project.
Banks, who was once a standout linebacker at Long Beach Poly in the Los Angeles area, had his NFL dreams derailed and spent five years behind bars after he was wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting a classmate in the summer of 2002. He was exonerated with help from the California Innocence Project in 2012.
Banks shared with FOX 5 a message he hopes others will catch.
“We cannot allow one moment in our life to dictate the duration of our life,” he said. “We are all going to go through things that are unwanted, that are unexpected. But it’s not what you go through — it’s how you let it affect you.”
Banks believes the criminal justice system should change and hopes his story can help create that change. “While we want to protect victims of crimes, we don’t want to add more victims to the list by sending the wrong person behind bars,” Banks said. “It’s important to share these types of stories in forms of art.”
The movie hits theaters August 9th.