A U.S. District Court judge on Wednesday upheld many of the claims in Terps guard Dez Wells' lawsuit against Xavier, which expelled him in 2012 after the then-Musketeers freshman star was accused of sexual assault.
Judge Arthur Spiegel, according to media reports, dismissed a request by Wells to explore the decision of the school's conduct board to expel him, saying the statute of limitations had passed. He also threw out specific charges against the university president, the Rev. Michael Graham.
But much of Wells' August 2013 lawsuit, including charges of sex discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, libel for injury to his reputation and negligence, was upheld.
"We're pleased that the court dismissed a number of the claims at this point," Xavier said in a statement. "The Court's decision was based solely on the facts as alleged by Mr. Wells and his lawyers in their Amended Complaint, as is required by Court Rules at this early stage in the litigation. After the actual facts are disclosed to the Court, we are confident that the result will vindicate Xavier."
Wells, who scored 18 points in the Terps' 67-65 ACC tournament loss Thursday to Florida State, was expelled in August 2012 after a university review board composed of students and faculty found him in violation of the conduct code. A female student had alleged that Wells raped her in her dorm room; Wells, according to his lawsuit, said they had consensual sex after playing "truth or dare" with others that involved stripping.
The female student later told police she didn't want to press charges, and court records say that a hospital examination showed no trauma on her body. A Hamilton County grand jury declined to indict Wells after hearing evidence in the case. County prosecuting attorney Joseph T. Deters also came out strongly in defense of Wells, who transferred to Maryland last September and on Monday was named third-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.
"From the moment this nightmare began, I've told the truth," Wells said in a statement last year. "I am innocent. The folks at Xavier wouldn't listen. Xavier destroyed my reputation. It's time to make this right. Xavier needs to set the record straight."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun