Former Buffalo Bills Punter Matt Araiza Cleared Of Gang Rape Allegations After Prosecutors Determine He Wasn’t Even Present

Matt Araiza NFL
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Last fall, the Buffalo Bills released rookie punter Matt Araiza before the regular season even started after a lawsuit was filed against the former San Diego State University student and two of his teammates, accusing them of participating in the gang rape of an intoxicated 17-year old while still students in college.

Araiza was a Ray Guy Award winner, having been named the best punter in the country in 2021, and had just been named the starting punter for the Bills.

Back in December, prosecutors announced that they would not be pressing charges against Araiza for the alleged assault:

“Ultimately, prosecutors determined it is clear the evidence does not support the filing of criminal charges and there is no path to a potential criminal conviction”

Now, it’s been revealed that not only did they refuse to press charges, but they also say the evidence shows he wasn’t even at the party when the rape is alleged to have occurred.

According to a report by Yahoo Sports, prosecutors found videos showing the alleged rape occurred at approximately 1:30 AM. However, their evidence shows that Araiza left the party around 12:30 AM, an hour before the reported assault.

In a recording, Deputy District Attorney Trisha Amador explains the prosecutor’s decision to the alleged victim:

“He wasn’t even at the party anymore…

All I know is that at that point, suspect Araiza is gone from the party.”

Prosecutors also refused to bring charges against the other men accused of the gang rape, explaining that it was impossible based on her evidence to prove that an assault had occurred as opposed to consensual sex.

“In looking at the videos on the sex tape, I absolutely cannot prove any forceable sexual assault based upon what happened.”

There was also evidence presented that the alleged victim had told attendees of the party that she was 18 years old, including video of the girl from a party the night before saying that she was 18.

Araiza has been out of the NFL since being released by the Bills, who reportedly knew about the alleged incident at the time of signing the punter but after their own investigation, had decided to sign him anyway.

After the lawsuit was filed by the victim, however, the public outcry became too much and the Bills decided to release Araiza, with their GM saying:

“At this time, we just think it’s the best move for everyone to move on from Matt and let him take care of this situation and focus on that. So, we’re gonna part ways there.”

Though he doesn’t face any criminal charges, Araiza is still named in the civil lawsuit filed by the victim in San Diego County Superior Court.

But Araiza says he hopes that being cleared in the criminal investigation will be enough for NFL teams to give him another shot at playing football.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock