Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza was not present for the alleged gang rape he was accused of participating in with two of his football teammates that occurred at a party near San Diego State’s campus in October 2021, prosecutors have reportedly found.
Araiza had made the Bills’ 53-man roster as the team’s punter after winning the training camp battle last August. But all of that changed when the rookie, nicknamed the “Punt God” for his skills in that area of football, was named in a civil lawsuit that provided very graphic details of a gang rape of an intoxicated 17-year-old girl.
The lawsuit stated that Araiza had thrown the girl on a bed “face first” and she went in and out of consciousness while having unsolicited sex. The lawsuit added that it lasted an hour and a half, and she left the room bloodied and crying.
Following a 124-day investigation, prosecutors came out on Dec. 7, 2022, and said they wouldn’t press charges.
Yahoo Sports broke down what police and prosecutors found in a “200-plus page transcript of a 100-minute meeting” where a deputy district attorney explained why they found no evidence to press charges against Araiza or anyone else accused in the civil lawsuit to the girl and her attorneys.
The biggest piece of evidence that showed that Araiza allegedly wasn’t involved was that he “left” the house where the party was being thrown around 12:30 a.m. Prosecutors determined the alleged incident occurred an hour later.
“He wasn’t even at the party anymore,” Deputy District Attorney Trisha Amador told the plaintiff via Yahoo Sports. “All I know is that at that point, suspect Araiza is gone from the party.”
There were also videos of the incident inside the bedroom where prosecutors didn’t see enough to say it was a gang rape instead of consensual sex.
“In looking at the videos on the sex tape, I absolutely cannot prove any forceable sexual assault based upon what happened,” Amador explained.
Araiza has noted that any type of sexual contact with the girl was consensual.
The incident that occurred at 1:30 a.m., one hour after prosecutors found that Araiza had left the party based on the 35 witnesses that were questioned, which included the girl’s friends, has video showing two or three different men in the bedroom with the girl.
Witnesses also said that the girl, who got into the party with her other high school friends after discovering it was a few blocks away from the San Diego State campus, was telling people she was 18 years old.
And while the lawsuit claims that she was “heavily intoxicated,” witnesses can’t corroborate that piece of the story.
“A witness who was in the house gave a statement saying that at – at least one point in the party, that you made a statement telling people at the party you were 18,” Amador told the girl in the transcript. “Another witness at the party, a different one, says that they specifically heard you say you were 18…”
The civil lawsuit claimed that the girl was separated from her friends and Araiza had led her over to a side yard and told her to perform sexual acts against her consent.
Araiza says that he was urinating in a private area of the backyard and that she walked there on her own accord, not by his force.
Witnesses also said the girl was leaving and returning, saying that she had sex with someone.
“The witnesses say…that shortly after you arrived at the party, you left and came back shortly thereafter. And you told [a friend], ‘I just had sex,’” Amador said to the girl. “You didn’t appear unhappy. You appeared to be having fun and that the encounter on the side of the house with Matt, suspect Araiza, was consensual.”
There was another witness who claimed the girl was “approaching men at the party saying, ‘I want you to [expletive] me and if you don’t [expletive] me you’re a [expletive].”
After the Araiza encounter, despite the civil lawsuit saying that he led her to a bedroom, prosecutors found that she left her friend group again and returned saying she had sex with a different man. Amador also made sure to point out again that the girl wasn’t under the influence.
Since the accusation, Araiza was released from the Bills and has yet to be picked up by another team in the league despite the December announcement that charges would not be pressed.
The Bills reportedly knew about the incident involving Araiza prior to him joining the team. They did their own investigation on the matter and brought him into the fold.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Dan Gilleon, shared the following statement to Fox News Digital regarding this new report.
“Team Araiza continues to litigate the case in the media because they know the information they’re leaking has no relevance whatsoever to the lawsuit,” Gilleon said. “Matt Araiza will dress up in a suit and tie for tv crews at a meaningless court hearing, but he won’t speak to the media like Jane Doe has and will continue to do. The first time Araiza had a chance to tell his side of the story was when he was contacted by the police. He took the fifth, asserting his right not to incriminate himself. Since then, he has remained silent as his attorneys leak irrelevant information to the media and attack the victim, apparently thinking that she’ll be bullied into dropping her case. It’s not going to happen. This case is going to trial, and we’ll force Araiza to talk.”
Gilleon previously told San Diego’s CBS 8 that the witness who said Araiza wasn’t present at the party at the time of the alleged rape is a “buddy” of his.
Araiza was a sixth-round draft pick by the Bills in the 2022 NFL Draft. His 82-yard punt in a preseason game with them went viral prior to being named the team’s punter out of camp.