Matt Araiza, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills and is commonly known as The Punt God, has been accused in a lawsuit of gang raping a minor along with two other San Diego State teammates. The Bills were informed in late July by the attorney who filed the suit in San Diego Superior Court
Here’s ESPN’s report based on the suit:
“The lawsuit, obtained by ESPN, involves allegations against Araiza and two of his former San Diego State teammates. The other men named in the complaint are Zavier Leonard, a redshirt freshman with the Aztecs, and Nowlin Ewaliko, who was a freshman last season but is no longer on the listed roster. All three are accused of rape, gender violence and false imprisonment.
The lawsuit accuses Araiza, who was 21 at the time, of having sex with the then-high school senior, who was under the age of consent in California, outside at an off-campus party held at his residence during the early hours of Oct. 17, 2021. The suit states Araiza then brought her inside a room where at least three other men were, including Leonard and Ewaliko, and that she was repeatedly raped for about an hour and a half until the party was shut down.”
Of course news outlets had to break the story as the team didn’t, but the biggest joke about all of this is since the alleged rape happened prior to Araiza being drafted, he’s not subject to the league’s personal conduct policy.
The Bills released a statement:
“[The Bills] were recently made aware of a civil complaint involving Matt from October 2021. Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted a thorough examination of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case, we will have no other comment at this point.”
The NFL said it was aware of the accusation but had no comment.
Araiza’s attorney, Kenny Armstrong, had not read the complaint when reached by the L.A. Times yet told the paper the allegations were false and said that his own “investigator spoke to witnesses from the party who contradict the allegations against Araiza.”
An attorney for Ewaliko was reported in the Times saying, “he could not comment on the lawsuit and that he was still investigating what transpired.”
And an attorney representing Leonard told the Times he had not seen the suit and could not comment.
Expecting sports leagues to be the judges, juries, and executioners of the world is foolish, but it would be nice if they went by the court of public opinion more often because they’re not required to uphold the letter of the law. Happy Women’s Equality Day, I guess.