NFL: Bills kicker Matt Araiza targeted by gang rape charge


Rookie punter Matt Araiza and two of his former teammates were charged with gang raping a 17-year-old girl in a civil lawsuit filed Thursday.

The lawsuit alleges against three San Diego State Aztecs players and former players, including Araiza, who were wearing the team’s colors last season at the time of the incident. The other two men named in the complaint are Zavier Leonard and Nowlin Ewaliko, who was a first-year player last season but no longer appears on the team’s roster.

The lawsuit mentions that Araiza, 22, allegedly had sex outside with the student, then in her senior year of high school, at an off-campus party. He then allegedly brought the complainant inside where she was repeatedly raped, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The court document says the minor-aged plaintiff suffered a momentary blackout, but remembers times when the men took turns raping her.

Araiza’s attorney, Kerry Armstrong, called the accusation false and told the Times that his investigator had spoken to witnesses at the party who contradicted what was stated in the complaint.

A day after the party, the teenager reported the rape to San Diego police, who opened an investigation. No arrests have been made and the suspects have not been publicly identified, but detectives recently submitted their findings to the district attorney’s office to determine whether charges should be brought, according to the Times.

Araiza was drafted by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He was officially named the team’s starter on Monday at the expense of Matt Haack, the Bills’ punt specialist last year.



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