Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza was not present at an October 2021 party at which he was accused of helping orchestrate a gang rape, prosecutors said in a transcript obtained by Yahoo Sports.
The Buffalo Bills released Araiza in August 2022 after a civil lawsuit filed in San Diego accused him and two college teammates of raping a 17-year-old girl at a party. The lawsuit alleged Araiza threw the intoxicated girl on a bed and sexually assaulted her with other football players as she struggled to maintain consciousness. The girl was left “bloody and crying” after the alleged attack, the lawsuit said. (RELATED: Bills Punter Matt Araiza Accused Of Gang-Raping 17-Year-Old Girl)
Yahoo Sports obtained a transcript of a 100-minute meeting in which the deputy district attorney shed light on why Araiza could not have participated in the alleged assault.
Prosecutors explained that Araiza departed the party around 12:30 a.m., an hour before the alleged rape happened, Yahoo Sports reported Monday. A series of short videos with interactions between the accuser and the men in the bedroom were timestamped for 1:30 a.m, after Araiza left the party.
“He wasn’t even at the party anymore,” deputy district attorney Trisha Amador told the accuser, according to Yahoo Sports. “All I know is that at that point, suspect Araiza is gone from the party.”
𝗨𝗣𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗘: New evidence now show that former #Bills Punter Matt Araiza was *NOT* present at the house when a woman alleged that he raped her, per @DanWetzel
Evidence instead show that the accuser was having consensual sex with several other men that night.
Araiza being… pic.twitter.com/lNM0GxDy79
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 9, 2023
Prosecutors also revealed the video footage did not demonstrate enough evidence to prove the sexual contact was non-consensual.
“In looking at the videos on the sex tape, I absolutely cannot prove any forceable sexual assault based upon what happened,” Amador said, per Yahoo Sports.
Additionally, the accuser alleged Araiza separated her from friends and led her towards a side yard, where he demanded she perform sexual acts against her will. Araiza allegedly said she walked there on her own volition while he was in the process of urinating, Yahoo Sports reported.
Prosecutors said witness interviews provided a much different picture than the girl’s accusations.
“The witnesses say…that shortly after you arrived at the party, you left and came back shortly thereafter. And you told [a friend], ‘I just had sex,'” Amador said according to Yahoo News, “You didn’t appear unhappy. You appeared to be having fun and that the encounter on the side of the house with Matt, suspect Araiza, was consensual.”
The lawsuit further alleged Araiza should have known that the girl was underage. Witnesses claim that the girl told others at the party that she was 18, according to Yahoo Sports.
“A witness who was in the house gave a statement saying that at — at least one point in the party, that you made a statement telling people at the party you were 18,” Amador told the girl, according to Yahoo Sports. “Another witness at the party, a different one, says that they specifically heard you say you were 18,” the prosecutors added.
The accuser’s attorney Dan Gilleon told Fox News his client will not be pressured into dropping her lawsuit. “It’s not going to happen. This case is going to trial, and we’ll force Araiza to talk,” he stated.