In December, it was reported that former San Diego State punter and Buffalo Bills draft pick Matt Araiza would not be charged with a crime after a civil lawsuit was filed in California accusing him of taking part in the gang rape of a 17-year-old. This week, the situation concerning Araiza became a bit more clear, as Yahoo Sports acquired a transcript north of 200 pages where a deputy district attorney spoke with the alleged victim and her attorneys.
One piece of information from this meeting that was rather notable is that the district attorney’s office concluded Araiza left the home an hour before evidence suggested the alleged gang rape would have occurred.
“He wasn’t even at the party anymore,” deputy district attorney Trisha Amador explained to the girl, via Yahoo Sports.
“All I know is that at that point, suspect Araiza is gone from the party.”
In December, the District Attorney announced no charges would be filed after San Diego Police had reportedly spent nearly 10 months on the case.
“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,” the DA’s office said in a statement. “Prosecutors can only file charges when they ethically believe they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
After that decision in December, Araiza released a statement through his agency, JL Sports:
“I am grateful that the District Attorney and the San Diego Police Department have discovered all the facts and found no criminal wrongdoing. I am excited to continue my NFL career.”
Araiza was one of three men named in the graphic lawsuit, along with former San Diego State teammates Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko. Leonard and Ewaliko avoided charges as well. While three men were named in the suit, the girl believes she may have been raped by as many as 20 men.
Araiza’s lawyer, Kerry Armstrong, denied all allegations, and even insinuated the accuser was going after Araiza’s money. He also said his investigator spoke to witnesses from the party where the alleged incident occurred, who told a different story from the woman.
“It’s a shakedown because [was] with the Buffalo Bills,” Armstrong said, via the Los Angeles Times. “There is no doubt in my mind that Matt Araiza [never] raped that girl.”
Araiza himself said the details in the lawsuit were inaccurate, and that he looked forward to setting the record straight.
The Bills made the decision to release their sixth-round pick after the civil suit was filed in August. General manager Brandon Beane said at the time that the team struggled to get answers about Araiza’s situation, per ESPN, and that this was “bigger than football.”