Former Xavier Basketball Player Settles Lawsuit Over False Rape Allegations (UPDATE)By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Dez Wells, a former Xavier University basketball player who claims he was expelled over false rape allegations, has reached a settlement with the Cincinnati school.
University spokeswoman Kelly Leon said, "The lawsuit has been resolved in a manner satisfactory to the parties," Cincinnati reports.
Federal Judge John Arthur dismissed the lawsuit but said that the case could be reopened by either of the parties if the agreement is not fulfilled. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed to the public.
The university suspended Wells after a fellow female student accused him of sexually assaulting her in July 2012. In his defense, Wells said that he was involved in consensual sex with the student following a "Truth or Dare" game. The basketball player said that the woman removed most of her clothes, kissed him, and even gave him a lap dance.
"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 protection. Dez needs Xavier to right that wrong. The repercussions to Dez of the school's reckless actions are significant," reports the Washington Post.
A Hamilton County grand jury did not slap charges against Wells after a hospital examination revealed no signs of trauma on the woman's body. Plus, the female student wished not to file charges against the player.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters asked Xavier President Father Michael Graham not to discipline Wells pending outcome of the investigation. At the time, Wells was expelled for a student conduct violation.
The lawsuit filed in August named the university and the president as defendants for intentional suffering, emotional distress and defamation. Wells said that he was booed and jeered by rival fan bases at games. Reporters have publicly humiliated him with questions about his character since his expulsion from Xavier University.
"From the moment this nightmare began, I've told the truth. I am innocent," Wells said. "The supposed leaders at Xavier wouldn't listen. I was guilty even after I was proved innocent. Xavier destroyed my reputation. It's time to make this right. Xavier needs to set the record straight."