Maryland guard Dez Wells filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday seeking damages against his former school, Xavier University, and its president, claiming he was wrongfully expelled last summer, Yahoo! Sports reports.
The school president, Father Michael Graham, says the lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Cincinnati, is without merit.
"We have read the complaint and the allegations of wrongdoing are unfounded and cannot be supported," Graham said. "The process used by the Xavier University Conduct Board applies to all of our students and is the standard used in American universities. After members of the Conduct Board reached their decision, the matter was considered and upheld in an appeal. The sanction for the offense was expulsion. "
Wells was expelled from the school following a 2012 allegation of sexual assault, but a prosecutor declined to charge Wells and said the charge "didn't reach anything close to a standard of proof" and "should never have gotten to the point where someone's reputation is ruined."
The lawsuit seeks monetary compensation, as well as an overturning of the expulsion to clear Wells' name of what he calls a false accusation.
Wells' attorney said that he has suffered "severe emotional distress" for having been essentially deemed a rapist – and heckled as such while playing road games. Wells averaged 13.1 points a game for Maryland last season.
"From the moment this nightmare began, I've been trying to get everyone to understand that I am innocent," Wells said in a statement through attorney Peter Ginsberg. "The supposed leaders at Xavier destroyed my reputation. It needs to make this right. Xavier needs to set the record straight."