Bills cut punter Matt Araiza after rookie is accused of gang rape in graphic civil lawsuit

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The Buffalo Bills have decided to move forward with Matt Araiza. The team informed the rookie gambler on Saturday that he will be released after a civil lawsuit was filed in California who accused him of rape.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane said the team struggled to get answers about Araiza, per ESPNand that this was “bigger than football.”

“There are a lot of things we couldn’t get our hands on,” Beane said. “This was about letting Matt handle his situation.”

The Bills kept Araiza on the bench for Friday’s preseason game and kept him out of practice on Saturday before making the decision to let him go. After Buffalo’s 21-0 loss to the Panthers, Bills coach Sean McDermott was asked on Tuesday if Araiza would still be around after the final cuts and at the time declined to answer the question, which may have been the first sign. that the Bills were thinking to move on.

“I’m not going to get into that now,” McDermott said via Buffalonews.com. “Obviously, as I said, it’s clear that we have work to do here and figure this out.”

Bills’ decision to release Araiza came after a lawsuit was released accusing the gambler of participating in a gang rape of a girl who was just 17 at the time of the alleged incident.

According to the lawsuit, on October 16, 2021, the plaintiff went to Araiza’s residence near the San Diego state campus for a Halloween party. After arriving at the party, the girl said that Araiza had given her a drink, even though she was already drunk. According to the lawsuit, the girl believes the drink contained “not only alcohol, but also other intoxicating substances”. A short time later, Araiza is said to have had sex with the then high school, after which he took her to a room where she was repeatedly raped by other people.

Araiza was one of three men named in the lawsuit, along with former San Diego teammates Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko. Although only three people are named, the girl believes she was raped by as many as 20 men.

The day after the alleged incident, the girl went to the San Diego Police Department, where she told her story and had a rape kit made. The SDPD has since submitted its investigation to prosecutors for a review of the rape charge, the San Diego County District Attorney told WIVB.com on Friday. Although prosecutors are now reviewing the case, they have not yet announced whether criminal charges will be filed.

For his part, Araiza said the details in the lawsuit were incorrect.

“The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press,” Araiza said in a statement on Friday. “I’m looking forward to setting the record straight soon.”

The gambler’s lawyer, Kerry Armstrong, has denied all charges, even insinuating that the accuser is simply after Araiza’s money. “It’s a shakedown because he’s with the Buffalo Bills now,” Armstrong said via the… Los Angeles Times. “I have no doubt that Matt Araiza [never] raped that girl.”

Despite those comments from Araiza’s lawyer, there is a potentially damning piece of evidence in the lawsuit. The girl is said to have called Araiza in October while the police were listening. [the girl]and even tell her to get tested for STDs,” the lawsuit said. Since the girl was only 17 at the time, that could provoke Araiza into a case of having sex with a minor, even if there’s no evidence to prove it. the rest of the allegations.

One thing that’s not clear is when the Bills found out about the allegations. According to to athleticsthe team was not aware of the rape allegation when they drafted Araiza in April, but they were made aware of it in the past month.

Prosecutor’s attorney Dan Gilleon told The Athletic that he contacted the Bills in an email on July 31. A day later, he spoke to a member of the team’s general counsel on the phone, but no one from the team contacted him. him in the nearly four weeks since.

Araiza, who was selected in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft, had just officially won the Bills punting job from veteran Matt Haack this week before his release.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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