Celebrity NFL Punter Matt Araiza Accused of Gang Rape of 17-Year-Old
Buffalo Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza has recently gained widespread attention and earned the title “Punt God” for the skill and force of his right leg. However, a young woman is reportedly suing Araiza under the name of “Jane Doe” (a pseudonym) for participating in a gang rape while he was a collegiate athlete at San Diego State.
In a civil lawsuit filed on Thursday, Araiza, Zavier Leonard, and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko are charged in a complaint that was filed in San Diego County Superior Court with gang raping a 17-year-old at a Halloween party that took place at a house where Araiza had previously resided. The case, which was filed in San Diego County Superior Court, claims that the then-senior in high school experienced periods of unconsciousness but remembers the assaults by the guys as they happened.
The complaint was filed after the San Diego State is reportedly dealing with criticism for its decision to wait more than seven months to open its own investigation into the alleged gang rape, according to a Times investigation. According to campus representatives, police instructed them not to do anything that might jeopardize their investigation and that they were not compelled by federal law to notify the public of a crime. After receiving notification from the municipal police department that opening a Title IX investigation would not endanger the criminal investigation, the university did so last month. Since Araiza and Ewaliko are no longer students at the institution, they are not required to cooperate with the university inquiry.
The woman, now 18 years old, made her first public statement last month. In the lawsuit, she claimed that despite being aware of her extreme intoxication, the juvenile informed Araiza and instructed her to engage in oral sex before engaging in sexual activity with her. She was allegedly raped for one and a half hours until the party was called off, according to the lawsuit. As soon as she was able to escape, she said visited the local police station the following day and waited for an officer to speak with her for nearly five hours. She was brought to a hospital where she underwent a thorough rape examination.
Kerry Armstrong, Araiza’s attorney, denied the rape allegation. He claimed that during interviews with party members, witnesses who dispute Araiza’s accusations were made. Armstrong also said that this is a shakedown because Araiza is now with the Buffalo Bills.