Bills punter Matt Araiza, who gained acclaim as the so-called “Punt God” in college, has been accused of gang-raping a 17-year-old girl in 2021.
**Trigger warning, please proceed with caution. This article may contain details that will be upsetting to some.**
The Bills just named rookie Matt Araiza as their starting punter. Now the alleged skeletons in his closet are putting his future in doubt.
On Thursday, a civil lawsuit against Araiza was filed in San Diego County Superior Court alleging he and two San Diego State teammates gang-raped a 17-year-old girl in October of 2021. Current SDSU player Zavier Leonard and former SDSU player Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko were also named in the complaint.
The Los Angeles Times broke the story with details of the accusation, including Araiza “having sex with the minor outside the home and then bringing her inside to a room where she was repeatedly raped.”
There is an open police investigation on the matter. The Times reported that “detectives recently submitted their investigation to the San Diego County district attorney’s office to determine whether charges should be filed.”
The university also recently opened a Title IX investigation.
Araiza’s lawyer told the Times the civil lawsuit is “a shakedown” and that there are witnesses who contradict the allegations.
Bills punter Matt Araiza faces serious gang rape accusations
The Bills, who selected Araiza in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, released a statement:
“We 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.”
Araiza won the Ray Guy Award as the top punter in college football in 2021, just a few months after the alleged rape occurred. He was a social media darling throughout the fall with his “Punt God” title accompanying highlights of his incredible range and power.
So it was a surprise when the Ravens grabbed Penn State’s Jordan Stout in the fourth round and the Bucs picked up Jake Camarda from Georgia just a few picks later. Now we have a better idea of why those teams weren’t looking at Araiza.
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