Ex-Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza will not be charged for allegedly taking part in the gang rape of a minor, according to San Diego’s district attorney.
District attorney Summer Stephan told reporters on Wednesday that their office will not file charges against Araiza, along with former teammates Zavier Leonard and Nowlin Ewaliko.
“Ultimately, prosecutors determined it is clear the evidence does not support the filing of criminal charges,” said Stephan, “and there is no path to a potential criminal conviction.
“I am grateful that the District Attorney and the San Diego Police Department have discovered all the facts and found no criminal wrongdoing,” Araiza said in a statement released through his agency in regards to the DA’s decision. “I am excited to continue my NFL career.”
“Prosecutors can only file charges when they ethically believe they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In August, Araiza was accused of gang rape in a separate civil lawsuit where the accuser stated that he and his two teammates gang-raped a student (who was at the time a legal minor) during their attendance at San Diego State University.
The alleged female victim also said that Araiza spiked her drink, stating that the drink “not only contained alcohol but other intoxicating substances.” She also said that he forced her into performing coerced sexual acts, and after she had done so Araiza was joined by the two other men who began to take turns raping her.
Araiza’s lawyer in the civil suit, Kerry Armstrong, stated that the lawsuit was an attempted “shakedown” in which the woman charging him intended to do so to extort money from him.
“It’s a shakedown because he’s now with the Buffalo Bills,” said Armstrong. “There is no doubt in my mind that Matt Araiza ever raped that girl.”
Regardless of the district attorney’s decision in the criminal matter though, Araiza’s football career seems uncertain. When the accusations against Araiza became public, the Bills released him from the team indefinitely.