Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza reveals he intends to sue over gang rape allegation that saw him kicked from NFL team
Former Bills punter Matt Araiza says he plans to sue attorney Dan Gilleon for defamation in a civil lawsuit brought by the attorney alleging the player participated in a gang rape the last year.
Araiza was released by the Bills last August after being accused of raping a 17-year-old girl with two of his former San Diego State football teammates near the school campus in the fall 2021.
However, last month it was discovered that Araiza was apparently not present during the alleged 2021 gang rape.
Now, speaking on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday night, Araiza revealed he had retained an attorney and would not settle the ongoing civil lawsuit, intending to sue Gilleon for defamation.
“I’ve already hired a lawyer for this, and things have already been drafted,” Araiza told HBO’s Andrea Kremer. “I will never give up my right to sue him. It’s coming.
Former Bills punter Matt Araiza says he plans to sue over allegations he was involved in a gang rape
The 23-year-old appeared on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday night
Gilleon, who was also interviewed on the show, offered a revised version of the facts when asked about the prosecutors’ conclusion that Araiza had left the party at the time of the alleged gang rape.
“We’re not saying he was, and we’re not saying he wasn’t,” Gilleon said. “Let’s just say he wasn’t one of the men in there. This does not exonerate him from his responsibility.
The new theory put forward by Gilleon on the show is that Araiza “is part of a scheme between several men to target his client, get her drunk and take turns sleeping with her during the night”.
However, this theory was not included in the original complaint.
“Our allegation is that he contributed significantly to the harm she suffered that night,” Gilleon said.
“He slept with my client. Following this, she ended up having sex with several guys and came out bloody, in shock.
“I ended up in hospital, with the police and traumatised. So that’s what I mean by gang rape. Gang rapes can happen for two days. They can happen over time. They can happen produce in multiple locations. So that’s the clarification.
Araiza, who said he was in shock when he first read the initial complaint, told HBO he was sure he ‘never played a role in a gang rape’ .
He admitted to having sex with the girl, but said he thought it was consensual as he claimed the contact was initiated by her and she had “clarified her intentions”.
In May, Yahoo Sports reported an unsealed 200-page document including a transcript of a conversation in which an assistant prosecutor explained to the girl, who at the time of the alleged incident was 17, why the charges against Araiza had not been prosecuted.
The prosecutor’s office had apparently concluded that Araiza left the party in San Diego at 12:30 a.m. on the night of October 15, 2021 – about an hour before the gang rape occurred that Araiza was accused of participating in.
“He wasn’t even at the party anymore,” Trisha Amador reportedly told the girl per Yahoo. “All I know is that at that time the suspect Araiza left the party.”
The report adds that there are recordings of the encounter with the girl where the timestamp is 1:30. Araiza apparently had a witness who helped prosecutors conclude that he left about an hour earlier.