Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza accused of gang-raping a 17-year old while at San Diego State
A civil lawsuit filed Thursday in California accuses 22-year-old Buffalo Bills gambler Matt Araiza of gang rape while in San Diego state.
The incident reportedly took place at an off-campus party, with the victim being a minor who claims she went in and out of consciousness during the events.
Araiza was named in the lawsuit along with two other San Diego State football players.
Araiza’s attorney, Kerry Armstrong, denied his client’s involvement in the incident, saying, “It’s a shakedown because he’s with the Buffalo Bills now. I have no doubt that Matt Araiza once raped that girl.”
The other two individuals named in the suit are Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko.
According to the Los Angeles Times, an investigation by the paper revealed that SDSU had decided not to inform the campus community about the alleged incident — also opting to wait more than seven months to launch its own investigation.
Matt Araiza is accused of gang rape by a 17-year-old while in San Diego State
The lawsuit alleges that Araiza gave the woman a drink at the party, which, according to the report, “contained not only alcohol, but also other intoxicating substances.”
She claims she told Araiza that she was a high school girl and that he knew she was visibly intoxicated, but he demanded that she have oral sex.
The lawsuit then alleges that Araiza took her to a bedroom where Leonard, Ewaliko and at least one other man were, the complaint alleged, and threw her on the bed first. According to the lawsuit, she was raped for an hour and a half until the party was shut down.
During the investigation, she reportedly noticed a light resembling a video from a cell phone. The woman, she says, had her nose, belly button and ear piercings ripped out.
The novice gambler’s lawyer, Kerry Armstrong, denied his client’s involvement in the incident
Armstrong, Araiza’s lawyer, said he does not believe the teen was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Athletic’s Tim Graham has reported that the Bills were made aware of the allegations against Araiza last month.
He added that the franchise was not aware of the allegations when they drafted it, but they were aware when they sacked former punter Matt Haack on Monday.
Araiza recently earned the starting job with the Buffalo Bills in training camp after being selected as the sixth-round first pick of this year’s NFL draft.
He earned the nickname “Point God” after setting several NCAA punting records and winning the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter.
The San Diego Police Department has not identified any suspects and no arrests have been made.
The National Football League, NFL Players Association and the Bills have not commented on the allegations.