Buffalo Bills Cuts Rookie Gambler Matt Araiza Over Gang Rape Charge

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In the face of widespread public backlash and internal questions about the decision to award Matt Araiza the punt, the Buffalo Bills reversed course by evicting the rookie on Saturday, two days after a lawsuit was filed against the player and two teammates from the team. the University. raped a teenager last fall.

The decision to cut ties with their sixth-round San Diego state roster comes after Buffalo paved the way for Araiza to take over the punting duties by releasing returning veteran Matt Haack on Monday.

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The Bills then chose to keep Araiza even though they were aware of the allegations leveled against him since late July. The team then stood by the player by announcing that it was “initiating a thorough investigation” into the matter a day after the lawsuit was filed.

Araiza’s release begins to alleviate a crisis that has shaken the team, as coach Sean McDermott struggles to contain his emotions as he discusses the situation following a 21-0 preseason loss to Carolina on Friday night.

Without being specific, McDermott said he was unaware of some of the revelations that came out when the lawsuit was filed the day before, and repeatedly reiterated that the team has work to do to uncover the truth.

“It is not a situation to be taken lightly. I’m hurt, I understand they’re hurt,” McDermott said, referring to Buffalo’s fan base. “It’s not easy to hear things I’ve been hearing for the past few hours. I haven’t slept much to be honest.’

McDermott made the call to prevent Araiza from playing against Carolina. The player watched the game from an undisclosed location while also making a statement through his agent, Joe Linta, which read: “The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press. I look forward to hearing from you.” quickly set the record straight.”

Without another bettor on the roster, third string quarterback Matt Barkley handled the punting duties.

A lawsuit filed in the San Diego Supreme Court accused Araiza and two teammates of raping a then 17-year-old girl at a Halloween party at an off-campus home where Araiza had lived. A police investigation in San Diego has been handed over to the district attorney’s office to determine whether to prosecute. DA spokeswoman Tanya Sierra said on Friday there was no timeline on how long a decision will take.

In Buffalo, the focus shifts to why the Bills were unaware of the charges against Araiza in selecting the San Diego State player in the sixth round of the April draft. Although he was the top punter in college football last year and earned the nickname “Point God” for a roaring left leg, Araiza was the third punter to be selected in the draft.

It is unclear whether Araiza informed the NFL about the allegations in the months leading up to the draft.

Executives from two different teams told the Europe Times News they were aware of Araiza’s involvement in an incident during the design process, but neither person knew the extent of the allegations. Executives from three other teams said they were unaware of the charges against Araiza before the draft and only learned of the incident on Thursday. All people spoke to the ETN on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

While it’s unclear when the Bills were first notified of the allegations, they knew in late July when Dan Gilleon, the attorney representing the alleged victim identified in the lawsuit as “Jane Doe,” contacted the the team’s legal counsel, Kathryn D’Angelo, by email.

“It seemed like she was worried. She says she’ll contact me, but she never did,” Gilleon said. “I even followed up and said, ‘Hey, you guys didn’t talk to me and called me back like you said you would.’ And they just ignored that.”

Without saying when, Araiza’s attorney, Kerry Armstrong, said he also advised his client to be outspoken and inform the Bills of the allegations. Armstrong said he has also been in regular contact with the Bills over the past month to provide details about his own investigation into what happened.

“I don’t believe 100% that he ever violently raped this girl or had sex with her while she was unconscious or drunk or anything like that,” Armstrong said.

The Bills also conducted what they called a “thorough investigation,” which ultimately led to their decision to remove Haack.

The Bills also notified the NFL of the incident as soon as they were made aware of it, a person familiar with the situation told the ETN. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case, was unsure of the timeline.

The NFL declined to comment except to say it was aware of the matter.

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