Woman drops civil suit against 'Punt God' Matt Araiza

Woman drops civil suit against 'Punt God' Matt Araiza

Matt Araiza
Photo: Getty Images

A woman who once alleged that she was sexually assaulted and violently gang raped by former San Diego State and Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza has agreed to dismiss her civil suit.

Authorities in San Diego had previously declined to pursue criminal charges against Araiza and determined that he was not at the party in question when the alleged gang rape occurred. Araiza admitted to having consensual sex with the girl, who was 17 at the time, on the night of the party but did not know she was underage — he assumed she was older because it was a college party — and vehemently denied any other contact with her.

The Buffalo Bills cut Araiza in August 2022 after the initial allegations were levied against him. Buffalo had reportedly known about the accusations as early as the month prior.

In exchange for the woman dropping the civil suit, Araiza has dropped a defamation suit against the woman. According to Yahoo Sports, Araiza is not admitting any guilt and not making any monetary payments toward her.

“The win is bittersweet,” said Araiza’s lawyer Dick Smerdjian. “Matt has been forced to defend himself for the last 16 months against false accusations and a campaign to ruin his career in the NFL. He will never get this time in his life back.”

Local prosecutors met with the woman last spring and stated that evidence collected determined Araiza had left the house before the alleged gang rape occurred.

“He wasn’t even at the party anymore,” Deputy District Attorney Trisha Amador said. “All I know is that at that point, suspect Araiza is gone from the party.”

Additional video recordings of the incident left prosecutors unable to prove any forceable sexual assault occurred.

Since being cut by the Bills, the New York Jets brought Araiza in for a workout but did not sign him. According to columnist Dan Wetzel, “numerous” NFL teams were hesitant to sign Araiza while a civil suit was still pending.

“We cannot overstate the importance to our system of justice of the presumption of innocence,” said Semerdjian. “Matt has always maintained his innocence, despite the public outcry that resulted when he was falsely accused of crimes and civil assault. Thankfully, there was extensive evidence that was key to securing Matt’s voluntary dismissal from this lawsuit.”

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.