Bills Punter Matt Araiza, Two SDSU Players Accused of ‘Gang-Rape’ In Lawsuit

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Warning: Graphic Details Regarding Rape Included

Buffalo Bills sixth-round pick Matt Araiza was named as a defendant in a civil case filed Thursday, alleging he and two former and current San Diego State football players gang-raped a 17-year-old minor.

According to a Los Angeles Times report, “The lawsuit, filed in San Diego County Superior Court, alleges the then-high school senior went in and out of consciousness but remembers moments as the men took turns assaulting her.”

Noted in the lawsuit, Araiza was accompanied by two SDSU freshmen players, Zavier Leonard. 18, and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko, 18, in the “early morning hours of Sunday, October 17, 2021” after attending a Halloween party the night before. The plaintiff alerted Araiza that she attended Grossmont High School in El Cajon, Calif. and was underage.

“The teen told Araiza she was a high school student and, even though he could see she was highly intoxicated, he took her outside and told her to perform oral sex, then had sex with her.

“Then Araiza took her to a bedroom where Leonard, Ewaliko and at least one other man were, the complaint alleged, and threw her down on the bed face first. The lawsuit said she was raped for an hour and a half until the party was shut down.” The testimony adds that the plaintiff had piercings torn from her nose, belly button and ear.

The unnamed minor first filed a report to San Diego Police Department’s Eastern Division on Monday, October 18, 2021. She later agreed to call Araiza with surveillance over the conversation from detectives.

At one point in the call, Araiza advised her to get tested for a sexually transmitted disease. When he caught on that the call was being monitored, Araiza said, “This is Matt Araiza. I don’t remember anything that happened that night.”

The 22-year-old former Aztec became an unconventional storyline from the 2022 NFL Draft. Araiza, as a placekicker, was selected by the Bills in the sixth, which many dubbed as a highly valuable pick to draft the position. But Araiza made a name for himself at SDSU with his adequate kicking, evidenced by his 2021 Ray Guy award.

The Buffalo Bills released a statement on Thursday’s lawsuit.

“Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted a thorough examination of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case, we will have no other comment at this point.”

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.


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  1. No surprise here, the dad has been trying to get the police and SDSU to do something for the past year, but I guess they thought he’d just go away… Really poor headwork on their part, they all deserve the wrath of righteous vengeance. Just my opinion.

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