Exonerated Banks signs with Vegas football team

Exonerated Banks signs with Vegas football team

Published Sep. 19, 2012 3:39 p.m. ET

The football future of Brian Banks, the former Long Beach Polytechnic High School football standout whose rape conviction was overturned earlier this year, is expected to be announced Friday in Las Vegas.

CBSLA.com is reporting Tuesday that he has signed with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League.

After his exoneration in May, Banks, 26, said he wanted to focus on his NFL dreams and began talks with several professional teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs, the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks.

Justin Brooks, director of the California Innocence Project and Banks' attorney, had invited football coaches to call and offer tryouts for Banks.

“Those coaches called,” Brooks said in a statement. “I am ecstatic that it looks like he will finally get to make his dream of playing football a reality.”

Banks had drawn national attention earlier this year after a Los Angeles judge overturned his conviction, ending a decade of turmoil that began in 2002 when a classmate accused Banks of rape.

At the time, the 17-year-old middle linebacker was drawing attention from USC, UCLA and other schools, he said, even though he had just completed his junior year of high school. He pleaded no contest to charges of kidnapping and rape, spent five years in prison and another five on parole.

Banks met with his accuser last year after she reached out to him on Facebook. She felt guilty that he wasn't able to go to college and play football, and she had "a desire to make amends," Banks' attorneys said in court documents.

She admitted she had lied about the alleged rape in a conversation that was taped by Banks and a private investigator, setting the wheels in motion for the exoneration.

"He deserved a chance," Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll told reporters after a workout in June. "This is a guy who deserved it."