Payments launch rookie punter Matt Araiza following gang rape allegation in civil lawsuit

Buffalo Payments normal supervisor Brandon Beane introduced Saturday rookie punter Matt Araiza has been launched, two days after Araiza, together with two different people, had been accused in a civil lawsuit of gang raping a minor throughout an off-campus get together at San Diego State College final 12 months.

The lawsuit, which was filed Aug. 25 in San Diego County Superior Courtroom, alleges that in October of 2021 Araiza had intercourse with a 17-year-old woman outdoors of an off-campus dwelling, the place Araiza lived, after which introduced her right into a room the place she was repeatedly raped. The plaintiff is recognized within the go well with as “Jane Doe,” as a result of she was underage on the time, however is now 18, in response to the Related Press.

“I’d say the final 48 hours has been very tough for lots of people,” Beane informed reporters on Saturday. “It has been robust and we sympathize with this complete scenario, all the events concerned. This younger lady, what she went by. You actually really feel dangerous for that complete scenario, and in the end it is a authorized scenario and we do not know all the info. That is what makes it exhausting, however right now we simply suppose it is one of the best transfer for everybody to maneuver on from Matt, and let him handle this case and concentrate on that. So, we’ll half methods there.

“I do know it is a query of when did we hear this or what was the timeline — late July from her consultant spoke to [Bills assistant general counsel Kathryn D’Angelo] and laid out a few of the issues that they had been accusing Matt and others of. At the moment, our course of, we tried to be thorough and considerate. Not rush to judgement, and I’d say it is not simple. You are attempting to place info round a authorized scenario, typically with restricted data. So in the end that is the place we’re at at present with the choice.”

Beane added: “With the intense nature of an allegation, we do not have the means to place all the info collectively. There’s a number of variations of what occurred. He is a soccer coach (Sean McDermott) and I am a GM, we do not have entry to every thing. That is extra necessary than enjoying soccer, and so we wish Matt to concentrate on that.”

The 2 different soccer gamers named within the grievance are Zavier Leonard, presently on San Diego State’s roster, and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko, who shouldn’t be listed on this 12 months’s roster. Araiza grew to become a star punter for the Aztecs as a redshirt junior in 2021, profitable the Ray Man Award because the nation’s prime punter. The Payments chosen him within the sixth spherical of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Beane informed reporters that the group was not conscious of the allegation in opposition to Araiza throughout April’s draft.

There have been no arrests made and San Diego Police haven’t publicly recognized any suspects, in response to the Related Press.

“Our tradition right here is extra necessary to us than profitable soccer video games,” Beane mentioned on Saturday.

Araiza, who grew to become Buffalo’s beginning punter following the discharge of Matt Haack on Aug. 22, was held out of Friday’s preseason recreation in opposition to the Carolina Panthers. Chatting with the media following the sport, McDermott mentioned Friday it was his determination to not play Araiza, calling the the scenario “extraordinarily severe” and one which the group doesn’t “take flippantly by any means.”

“It is only a matter of looking for the reality on the finish of the day, that is the purpose is locate the reality and do the suitable factor,” McDermott mentioned Friday. “And that is what I preserve coming again to in my thoughts and my coronary heart, is locate out the reality to one of the best of my potential, and do the suitable factor.”

Araiza launched an announcement earlier on Friday through which he challenged the small print within the lawsuit.

“The info of the incident aren’t what they’re portrayed within the lawsuit or within the press,” Araiza mentioned within the assertion. “I look ahead to shortly setting the report straight.”

Kerry Armstrong, Araiza’s lawyer, has denied the rape accusation, in response to the Los Angeles Instances.

The NFL’s personal-conduct coverage doesn’t apply to incidents that happen previous to a participant being drafted or becoming a member of a group. If legal costs are filed in opposition to Araiza, nonetheless, he would then be topic to a league investigation and potential disciplinary motion, per the league coverage.