Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza reveals he intends to sue over gang rape


Former Bills punter Matt Araiza said he plans to sue attorney Dan Gilleon for defamation in regard to a civil lawsuit filed by the lawyer that alleged the player took part in a gang rape.

Araiza was released by the Bills last August after he was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl along with two of his former San Diego State football teammates near the school’s campus in the fall of 2021.

However, last month, it was concluded by the DA’s office that Araiza was apparently not present during the alleged 2021 gang rape. There is, however, an ongoing civil lawsuit that remains active.

Now, speaking on HBO‘s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday night, Araiza revealed he has retained an attorney and will not settle the pending civil lawsuit, as he intends to sue Gilleon for defamation. 

‘I’ve already hired an attorney for it, and things have already been drafted,’ Araiza told HBO’s Andrea Kremer. ‘I will never waive my right to sue him. That’s coming.’

Ex-Bills punter Matt Araiza said he plans to sue over allegations he was involved in a gang rape

Ex-Bills punter Matt Araiza said he plans to sue over allegations he was involved in a gang rape 

The 23-year-old appeared on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday night

The 23-year-old appeared on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday night

Gilleon, who was also interviewed on the program, insisted Araiza hadn’t necessarily been absolved of liability when asked about the conclusion by the DA’s office that the player had left the party at the time of the alleged gang rape. 

‘We are not saying that he was, and we are not saying that he wasn’t,’ Gilleon said. ‘Let’s say he was not one of the men in there. That doesn’t absolve him of liability.’ 

The new theory reportedly put forward by Gilleon on the program is that Araiza was ‘part of a scheme among several men to target his client, to get her drunk and to take turns having sex with her over the course of the night.’

However, this theory was not included in the original complaint. 

‘Our allegation is, is he contributed heavily to the harm that she suffered that night,’ Gilleon said. 

‘He had sex with my client. Following that, she ended up having sex with multiple guys and came out of there bloodied, in shock.

‘Ended up at the hospital, ended up with the police, and ended up traumatized. So that’s what I mean by the gang rape. Gang rapes can occur for two days. They can occur over time. They can occur multiple places. So that’s the clarification.’ 

Araiza, who said he was in shock when he first read the initial complaint, told HBO he was sure he ‘had never played part in any gang rape.’

Araiza was a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of San Diego State

Araiza was a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of San Diego State

He did admit he had sex with the girl but said he believed it to be consensual as he claimed the contact had been initiated by her and that she had ‘made her intentions clear.’

Araiza, who is currently living at home with his parents, did admit that sleeping with the girl only 15-20 minutes after meeting her was ‘stupid’ but insisted it wasn’t deserving of being labeled a ‘gang rapist’ by the media.

He also claimed he was judged in the court of public opinion ‘within seconds’ with no chance to defend himself. 

In May, Yahoo Sports reported on a 200-page unsealed document including a transcript of a conversation where a deputy district attorney told the girl, who at the time of the alleged incident was 17, why charges against Araiza were not pursued.

The DA’s office had apparently concluded that Araiza had left the party in San Diego at 12:30am on the night of October 15, 2021 – around an hour before the gang rape is alleged to have happened that Araiza was accused of participating in.

‘He wasn’t even at the party anymore,’ Trisha Amador is quoted as telling the girl by Yahoo. ‘All I know is that at that point, suspect Araiza is gone from the party.’

The report added that there are recordings of the encounter with the girl where the time stamp is 1:30am. Araiza apparently had a witness that helped prosecutors conclude that he had left around an hour earlier.

In February this year, Araiza’s agent denied that he was signing with a Mexican team in a bid to revive his career and said his client hopes for another chance in the NFL.

Punter Araiza was cut by the Bills last year after the allegations surfaced

Punter Araiza was cut by the Bills last year after the allegations surfaced

Araiza is apparently hoping for another chance to forge a career for himself in the NFL

Araiza is apparently hoping for another chance to forge a career for himself in the NFL

He was released by the Bills in late August, amid the allegations and mounting public pressure, despite winning the starting job in training camp. 

The Ray Guy Award Winner – given to the best punter in college football – was a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and beat out veteran Matt Haack to be the Bills punter. 

When the lawsuit became public on August 26, Buffalo initially defended Araiza, before eventually cutting the then-22-year-old two days later. 

General manager Brandon Beane said the organization was aware of Araiza’s version of events prior to bringing him to Orchard Park. 



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