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Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza accused in civil lawsuit of taking part in gang rape of minor

Buffalo Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza and two others have already been accused of gang raping a during an off-campus party at NORTH PARK State University this past year in case filed Thursday in the County of NORTH PARK Superior Court.

The lawsuit alleges that Araiza had sex with a 17-year-old girl beyond an off-campus home, where Araiza lived, and brought her right into a room where she was repeatedly raped. The plaintiff is identified in the suit as “Jane Doe,” because she was underage at that time, but is currently 18, according to the Associated Press.

Both other football players named in the complaint are Zavier Leonard, currently on NORTH PARK State’s roster, and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko, who’s not listed with this year’s roster. Araiza became a star punter for the Aztecs as a redshirt junior in 2021, winning the Ray Guy Award because the nation’s top punter before declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft.

The lawsuit states that the plaintiff have been drinking with friends if they went to the party on Oct. 17 and she was “observably intoxicated upon arrival.” She became separated from her friends and was approached by Araiza, who offered her a glass or two, based on the lawsuit. The plaintiff believes the drink “not merely contained alcohol, but other intoxicating substances,” the complaint said.

There were no arrests made and NORTH PARK Police haven’t publicly identified any suspects, based on the Associated Press. NFL Media’s attempts to attain NORTH PARK Police and the district attorney’s office were unsuccessful.

An attorney representing Araiza told the LA Times, which first reported the lawsuit, on Thursday he hadn’t yet reviewed the complaint against Araiza, but said that the allegations were false.

“We were recently made alert to a civil complaint involving Matt from October 2021,” the Bills said in a statement on Thursday, obtained by NFL Network’s Mike Giardi. “Because of the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted an intensive study of this matter. As that is a continuing civil case, we shall haven’t any other comment at this stage.”

The university launched a Title IX investigation in to the incident last month, per the changing times.

The Bills selected Araiza in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He could be the lone punter on Buffalo’s roster following the team released veteran Matt Haack earlier this week.

The Bills play the Carolina Panthers within their final preseason game on Friday. Araiza traveled with the team, Giardi confirmed.

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