Matt Araiza: Buffalo Payments’ punter and a couple of former school teammates accused of rape in lawsuit

Araiza, Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko had been a part of the San Diego State College soccer staff on the time of the alleged incident final October.

Araiza stated in an announcement issued by way of his legal professional that, “The information of the incident should not what they’re portrayed within the lawsuit or within the press. I stay up for rapidly setting the document straight.”

Earlier, his legal professional, Kerry Armstrong, informed CNN his consumer did not rape the accuser.

“He by no means used any power towards her. She was not visibly intoxicated. He didn’t hand her a drink with something in it,” Armstrong added.

Araiza “hopes it doesn’t have an effect on this profession with the Buffalo Payments. He actually likes the staff and hopes he can stick with them,” stated Armstrong.

Jane Doe says she attended a celebration within the San Diego space with mates, however was separated from them when she met Araiza, in line with the lawsuit. The declare additional asserts that Araiza “might observe that Doe was closely intoxicated” and “handed her a drink anyway.”

“Doe knowledgeable Araiza that she attended Grossmont Excessive College. Araiza, who was 21 years previous, knew or ought to have recognized that Doe was a minor,” the grievance says.

The girl says Araiza led her to a bed room the place “there have been at the very least three different males already within the bed room,” together with Leonard and Ewaliko, who had been each at the very least 18 on the time, in line with the courtroom doc. Shortly after Doe entered the bed room, the lads allegedly started partaking in intercourse acts along with her, the lawsuit claims.

“Doe was raped for about an hour and a half till the occasion was shut down. Doe stumbled out of the room bloody and crying,” stated the grievance.

Doe reported the alleged incident the following day to the San Diego Police Division and underwent a rape examination at a neighborhood hospital, in line with the lawsuit. Days later, detectives organized “pretext” calls between Doe and the lads that they had decided as her alleged attackers, stated the declare.

“Through the name, Araiza confirmed having intercourse with Doe, even telling her that she ought to get examined for STDs,” stated the declare however when she pressed him about their encounter, “Araiza instantly modified his tone, saying, ‘That is Matt Araiza. I do not bear in mind something that occurred that night time,’ at which period he terminated the pretext name by hanging up on Doe,” the grievance alleges.

Ewaliko’s lawyer, Marc Carlos, informed CNN in a cellphone interview that he sees some points with Doe’s credibility and the circumstances below which she reported the occasion. “The submitting of the civil go well with is clearly an try and put stress on the DA to file a case,” he stated.

Ewaliko just isn’t enrolled at San Diego State this semester, in line with Carlos.

Leonard’s legal professional, Jamahl Kersey, stated: “We’re conscious of the lawsuit that was filed yesterday and we respectfully decline to remark.” He stated he couldn’t touch upon his consumer’s standing as a San Diego State scholar or participant.

The police division has submitted its investigation to the San Diego County District Legal professional’s Workplace and is being reviewed, the DA’s workplace stated, although officers didn’t point out when a charging choice could be made.

CNN has additionally requested remark from police.

The college launched an announcement saying it “takes allegations of sexual assault significantly.” however was not capable of launch particular particulars on the case as a result of privateness issues stating the allegations had been nonetheless below “lively college investigation.” The assertion stated additional {that a} violation of the college’s scholar code of conduct might doubtlessly lead to “suspension, dismissal or expulsion.”

“We had been just lately made conscious of a civil grievance involving Matt from October 2021,” a Buffalo Payments spokesperson stated. “Because of the severe nature of the grievance, we performed a radical examination of this matter. As that is an ongoing civil case, we could have no different remark at this level.”

Araiza did not play throughout Buffalo’s 21-0 loss in a pre-season sport to the Carolina Panthers on Friday. “On the finish of the day I did not really feel prefer it was proper,” stated coach Sean McDermott.

Questioned after the sport concerning the allegations, McDermott described it as an “extraordinarily severe” scenario. “We need to discover the reality and determine this out the appropriate approach and do the appropriate factor.”

NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy stated in an announcement league officers are conscious of the matter however had no extra remark.

An NFL participant can’t be suspended for conduct earlier than becoming a member of the league. But when an individual is investigated for actions that happen whereas an NFL participant, prior conduct can issue into potential self-discipline, in line with the NFL’s private conduct coverage.

CNN’s Jill Martin and Taylor Romine contributed to this report.

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