This story seems to fit fairly well with our theme of the power of a sex offense allegation: before a conviction, even before criminal charges are filed, a person accused of committing a sex offense is facing an uphill battle. The consequences of a sex offense allegation often seem just as bad as the consequences of a conviction, despite the two being worlds apart, at least in the world of criminal defense.
Recently, college basketball standout Dez Wells won his appeal to the NCAA Division I Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief. Wells had transferred to Maryland after allegations of sex offenses at his former university, Xavier, led to his expulsion.
While some were surprised that Wells would be allowed to play this season despite the sex offense accusations, a grand jury had already declined to charge him with any criminal wrongdoing in the incident that Xavier had found violated its student conduct code. The prosecutor in the Ohio County where the incident occurred also encouraged Xavier to revisit the facts and allow Wells to return to school.
Maryland had initially filed for a waiver of Wells’ ineligibility to play basketball but was denied by the NCAA. The successful appeal meant that Wells was able to join his new teammates on the basketball floor as Maryland played its season opener against Kentucky.
Wells’ addition to the Maryland basketball team means they will be able in the running to compete against some of the top teams in the country, according to some preseason predictions.
Source: USA Today, “Maryland’s Dez Wells wins appeal, gains eligibility,” November 7, 2012