NFL Team Releases Player Accused Of Gang Raping 17-Year-Old Girl

Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Buffalo Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza was released from his contract Saturday, just days after he and two others were sued for allegedly gang-raping an underage girl in 2021.

Legal documents filed in San Diego Superior Court on Friday allege that Araiza assaulted a 17-year-old girl at a Halloween party at his residence. “This afternoon, we decided that releasing Matt Araiza was the best thing to do. Our culture in Buffalo is more important than winning football games,” Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane said at a press conference Saturday.

Araiza and two other football players either formerly or currently attending San Diego State University were named in the suit, CNN reported. The suit alleges that Araiza was aware that the young girl was “heavily intoxicated” and “handed her a drink anyway.”

The girl, referred to as “Jane Doe” to protect her anonymity, claims she informed the footballer that she attended a high school and was a minor, CNN continued. The complaint states that Araiza led Doe to a bedroom where there were at least two or three other men present.

“Doe was raped for about an hour and a half until the party was shut down. Doe stumbled out of the room bloody and crying,” the complaint notes. Doe reported the incident to San Diego Police Department the following day and underwent a rape examination at a local hospital, the outlet noted.

“The last 48 [hours have] been very difficult for a lot of people. It’s been tough, and we sympathize with this whole situation, all the parties involved,” Beane continued. “Ultimately, this is a legal situation. We don’t know all the facts and that’s what makes it hard, but at this time we just think it’s the best move for everyone to move on from Matt and let him take care of this situation and focus on that. So, we’re going to part ways there.” (RELATED: NFL, NFLPA Agree To Suspend Deshaun Watson For 11 Games And Fine Him $5 Million)

Araiza’s attorney Kerry Armstrong told the LA Times that the suit is a “shakedown because he’s now with the Buffalo Bills.” When asked if his client is innocent of the alleged crimes, Armstrong said “there is no doubt in my mind,” the outlet noted.