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“What Set Me Free” by Brian Banks (with Mark Dagostino)

You saw it happen. Every second of it, every sound, it’s burned in your memory. You can recall how it made you feel, how time seemed to slow down, how there was no room for anything else in your mind. It happened. Or – as in the new book “What Set Me Free” by Brian Banks (with Mark Dagostino) – did it? His whole future was laid out in front of him. Brian Banks was sixteen years old, popular at summer school, smart and talented with an offer to play football for USC in his pocket and his own car in the driveway. He was your typical good kid; his mother had insisted on it and he never let her down. Still, he was a teen-age boy who was very interested in the opposite sex, so when a girl he barely knew invited him to make out with her one afternoon at school, Banks, who’d already had experience with this kind of thing, eagerly agreed. Alas, nothing happened that day; a teacher interrupted the pair and they went their separate ways. The next morning, Banks woke up with someone’s knee in his back and guns in his face. He was torn from his bed, handcuffed, dragged from his mother’s house, and taken to jail at the Long Beach, California, precinct, where he learned why he’d been detained: the girl had accused him of rape.