Report: Dez Wells sues Xavier over expulsion
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
Ex-Xavier swingman Dez Wells is suing his former school and its president for what he says was a wrongful expulsion last year, Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday night. Wells, who currently attends and plays basketball at Maryland, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday seeking damages for the fallout from his expulsion, which stemmed from an allegation of sexual assault.
The local prosecutor, Joseph Deters, assigned the case not only declined to pursue charges, but also spoke out against the way Xavier University handled Wells. In an interview with WLW-AM radio, Deters called the school’s expulsion process involving its University Conduct Board “fundamentally unfair” and “seriously flawed,” and he said that the situation “should never have gotten to the point where someone’s reputation is ruined.” A grand jury also declined to prosecute Wells.
Wells transferred to Maryland last fall, and in a surprising move, his petition to play immediately was granted by the NCAA. He played in all 38 of the Terps’ games — but that was not the end of the saga.
According to the report, Wells’ lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court. It seeks monetary compensation and an overturning of Wells’ expulsion to clear his name. Wells’ lawyer told Yahoo! Sports that Wells has suffered “severe emotional distress” from his public ties to the sexual assault allegations. He said that Wells has been heckled and called a rapist while playing in games on the road.
“From the moment this nightmare began, I’ve been trying to get everyone to understand that I am innocent,” Wells said in a statement released to Yahoo! Sports. “The s upposed leaders at Xavier destroyed my reputation. It needs to make this right. Xavier needs to set the record straight.”
Father Graham, Xavier’s president, released a counter statement, calling the allegations of wrongdoing “unfounded” and pointing out that Xavier “never revealed the specific charge” against Wells other than saying he violated the school’s student code of conduct.
Deters, the local prosecutor, continues with his staunch defense of Wells in the lawsuit and states that he left messages with Graham regarding concerns he had about the truthfulness of the sexual assault allegations. … [For more on Report: Dez Wells sues Xavier over expulsion, click here.]