Buffalo Payments punter Matt Araiza sits preseason finale; needs to ‘set file straight’ about gang rape lawsuit

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Buffalo Payments rookie punter Matt Araiza, who was accused in a lawsuit Thursday of gang-raping a 17-year-old woman whereas at San Diego State final yr, didn’t costume for the preseason recreation. Friday evening in opposition to the Carolina Panthers.

In a press release launched through the recreation, Araiza stated: “The information of the incident will not be what’s described within the lawsuit or within the press. I hope to set the file straight rapidly.”

Araiza was not seen on the sidelines to begin the sport, though he did journey with the crew to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Araiza is the one kicker on the crew’s roster after the Payments named him the starter with the firing of Matt Haack on Monday. Backup quarterback Matt Barkley stuffed in because the Payments’ punter in opposition to Carolina.

The lawsuit, filed in San Diego County Superior Courtroom and obtained by ESPN, accuses Araiza and two of his former San Diego State teammates of rape, gender-based violence and unlawful detention.

Based on the lawsuit, Araiza, who was 21 on the time, had intercourse with the then-high college senior, who was underneath the California age of consent, exterior at an off-campus celebration held at his residence within the early hours of the morning. Oct. 17, 2021. The lawsuit states that Araiza then took her to a room the place at the very least three different males had been current, together with the 2 different males named within the lawsuit: Zavier Leonard, a redshirt freshman with the Aztecs , and Nowlin Ewaliko. , who was a freshman final season however is not on the roster. Based on the lawsuit, she was repeatedly raped for about an hour and a half till the celebration was shut down.

Dan Gilleon, the legal professional who filed the civil lawsuit, advised ESPN that the Payments discovered of the allegations in late July, when he emailed crew illustration.

Araiza’s felony legal professional, Kerry Armstrong, advised ESPN that her shopper spoke to the woman on the celebration, however that the rape allegations are “merely false.”

The Payments launched a press release Thursday evening stating that they “not too long ago turned conscious of a civil criticism involving Matt in October 2021. As a result of critical nature of the criticism, we performed a radical evaluate of this matter. That is an ongoing civil case, we can have no additional remark right now.”

Armstrong stated Araiza didn’t inform the Payments concerning the allegations till after the Los Angeles Instances reported in early June that rape allegations in opposition to 5 Aztecs soccer gamers had not been investigated by San Diego State. The college stated this was based mostly on the San Diego Police Division’s request that the college take no motion in order to not intrude with a police investigation into the incident.

Araiza was chosen by the Payments within the sixth spherical of the 2022 NFL draft in late April after enjoying three seasons at San Diego State.

The NFL stated Thursday that it was conscious of the incident however declined to remark. As a result of the alleged violation occurred earlier than Araiza was drafted, he wouldn’t be topic to the league’s private conduct coverage.

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