The Buffalo Bills “learned” of the allegations against player Matt Araiza “last month”. This was announced by Tim Graham from The Athletic. On Thursday, the same day, a civil lawsuit was filed in California accusing a former San Diego State University athlete and two others of gang raping a minor.
Citing a source, Graham noted that the organization was “unaware” of the troubling claims when they selected Araiza in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft in April, “but did know when they cut [veteran punter] Matt Haack on Monday.” Farther, This was reported by Jan Rapoport from the NFL Network. On Friday, Billy “knew about this for weeks” and is “looking into the whole situation.”
A lawyer for the accuser told The Athletic on Friday that the team had not contacted him or his client after talking to Bills’ attorney. Attorney Dan Gilleon said he had a “long phone call” with Catherine D’Angelo, Buffalo’s assistant general counsel, a day after the July 31 introductory email. According to the report, there were no further contacts with the club.
“The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press,” Araiza said in a statement. tweeted by Adam Schefter of ESPN. “I’m looking forward to breaking the record quickly.”
Araiza, who earned the nickname “God of the Punt” during his college career, was named a starter for the Bills on Monday. Three days later, the 22-year-old was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus party last year, according to the Los Angeles Times, in addition to Xavier Leonard, who is on the Aztec list, and Knowlin “Paa” Evaliko, who was on the team last season.
The alleged victim says in the lawsuit that she regained consciousness and lost it during the ordeal, but “remembers moments when the men took turns attacking her,” the Los Angeles Times detailed.
Kerry Armstrong, who works as Araiza’s lawyer, denied the allegations in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, saying, “It’s extortion because now he works for the Buffalo Bills.”
The Bills told the Los Angeles Times in a statement Thursday that they “recently became aware of a civil lawsuit against Matt dated October 2021.”
“Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we have conducted a thorough study of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case, we will have no other comments at this time,” the statement said.
Mike Giardi of the NFL Network confirmed that Araiza traveled with the Bills to their Friday pre-season final against the Panthers in Carolina, but he didn’t dress for the game.
Prior to leaving the Bills, Haack, who is starting his sixth season in the league, spent the 2021 season with Buffalo after four years in Miami. He was signed by the Colts earlier this week.