Bills P Matt Araiza Accused Of Gang Rape In Civil Lawsuit

AUGUST 26: Araiza will not punt for the Bills during tonight’s preseason finale, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Tim Graham of The Athletic adds that he will not dress at all (Twitter link).

Araiza has issued the following statement: “The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press. I look forward to quickly setting the record straight” (Twitter link via Schefter).

AUGUST 25: A civil lawsuit filed today accuses Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza and two other men associated with the San Diego State University football team of gang raping a 17-year-old girl last year, according to a report from Colleen Shalby and Robert J. Lopez of the Los Angeles Times.

The lawsuit was filed in San Diego County Superior Court. Araiza, who completed his four-year stint with SDSU in 2021, was one of three men named in the complaint. The other men were Zavier Leonard, who is listed on SDSU’s roster as a redshirt freshman, and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko, who is not currently on the roster. The incident took place at a party in October of 2021, and police were notified the next day.

Kerry Armstrong, who is representing Araiza, called the rape allegations false, saying his investigator spoke to witnesses from the party who contradicted the allegations. No arrests have been made, but detectives recently submitted findings to determine whether they should proceed with charges.

“It’s a shakedown because he’s now with the Buffalo Bills. There is no doubt in my mind,” Armstrong told the Los Angeles Times.

Araiza broke an NCAA record in 2021 after averaging 51.19 yards per punt. Following his junior campaign, the punter declared for the NFL Draft, and he was selected by the Bills in the sixth round.

“We were recently made aware of a civil complaint involving Matt from October 2021,” the Bills said in a statement. “Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted a thorough examination of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case legal, we will have no other comment at this point.”

The Bills recently committed to the rookie as their starting punter when they released veteran Matt Haack, who has since caught on with the Colts. According to Mike Florio of, the NFL doesn’t have the ability to punish Araiza since the alleged incident took place before he was in the league.

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