Ex-Bills punter Matt Araiza not charged after gang-rape claim


Former Bills punter Matt Araiza will not face charges from allegations that he participated in a gang-rape.

In August, Araiza was accused in a civil suit, along with two of his former teammates at San Diego State University, of raping a 17-year-old girl, who also claimed that she went in and out of consciousness during the incident.

Wednesday, San Diego’s district attorney Summer Stephan announced that there will be no charges for Araiza — or his former teammates, Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko — resulting from the accusations.

“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 district attorney said. “Prosecutors can only file charges when they ethically believe they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Araiza was given the nickname “Punt God” for his exceptional punting abilities at San Diego State and was selected by the Bills in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft. It is rare for punters to be drafted, though this year was an outlier in which two others — Jordan Stout and Jake Camarda, whom were picked in the fourth round by the Ravens and Bucs, respectively — were also selected.

Former Bills punter Matt Araiza won’t be charged after he was accused of gang rape stemming from an alleged incident at San Diego State.
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After the allegations against Araiza became public, he was released by the Bills.

Araiza was accused of giving the girl a drink at a party that she claimed “not only contained alcohol, but other intoxicating substances.” She also claimed that he knew she was a high school student and was intoxicated, but nonetheless pressured her into oral sex before the three football players took her to a bedroom and raped her for over an hour.

Araiza’s attorney, Kerry Armstrong, called the allegations a “shakedown.”

Matt Araiza punting at Bills practice.
Matt Araiza punting at Bills practice.
Getty Images

In a statement at the time, Araiza said, “The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press. I look forward to quickly setting the record straight.”

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