Aug 22, 2013 04:41 AM EDT
‘False Sexual Assault Accusation Has Traumatized Wells,’ Ginsberg Says (UPDATE)
Rival fan bases have booed and jeered Dez Wells at games, chanting 'No means no' and reporters have publicly humiliated him with questions about his character since his expulsion from Xavier University amid false sexual assault accusations last summer. This has traumatized Wells.
He was also branded a sexual predator.
Wells, a Maryland guard and a former University basketball player said that the expulsion has caused him personal suffering, emotional distress and trauma. He felt ashamed, emotionally distraught and violated.
The university suspended Wells after a fellow female student accused him of sexually assaulting her July 2012, which was a 'serious violation' of the code of student conduct.
"He had faced horrific accusations and ultimately was forced out of the university that he loved," said Peter R. Ginsberg, Wells' lawyer. "He knew he was innocent, but the university refused to extend a fundamental standard and fundamental protections. Dez needs Xavier to right that wrong. The repercussions to Dez of the school's reckless actions are significant."
From Raleigh, N.C., Wells was a freshman star for Xavier. He then transferred to University of Maryland, where he was a top player of the previous season.
Even though, Wells was expelled and accused of something that he claims to be false, it did not prevent him from giving his best performance at College Park. He joined just three months earlier.
According to Washington Post, Wells was seen barking in team huddles, shouting instructions from the sideline and bouncing around in the pregame dance mob to pump up the team.
He also appeared on posters, banners and online messages encouraging Maryland fans to attend games.
"I can't really change a program around," Wells said on April 2. "I can be a piece that helps change the program around. Everybody who's a fan has their own limited piece of helping us change this program around. There's a lot of pressure in the beginning, but Coach Turgeon told me just to relax. It was around for a while. But I had to be comfortable in my own skin, just play and do what I can do."
Wells is set to be one of the Terrapins' leaders next season after helping the team advance to the National Invitation Tournament semifinals. Wells is also looking forward to his first NCAA tournament appearance since 2010.
In order to put an end to all the humiliations Wells and Ginsberg decided to make things right. They have filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati against the school for damaging his reputation.
From the moment this nightmare began," Wells said. "I've been trying to get everyone to understand that I am innocent. The supposed leaders at Xavier wouldn't listen. I was guilty even after I was proved innocent. Xavier destroyed my reputation. It needs to make this right. Xavier needs to set the record straight."
Along with the university, the lawsuit names the university's president, Father Michael Graham, a defendant. Wells' lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory, punitive and special damages and a public apology from both the University and its president, Father Michael J. Graham.
Plus, Wells also wants Xavier's expulsion to be cancelled, although he does not wish to return back to the campus.
The lawsuit blames the University for 'Conducting a Flawed Investigation And rushing to an irresponsible judgment following a clearly false and malicious allegation of sexual misconduct.'
The lawsuit also said that Wells 'could never rape a woman in light of the fact that his sister was a victim of rape.'
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