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Digging into the Matt Araiza case | Should the Buffalo Bills cut ties with the so-called Punt God?

NFL punter Matt Araiza and two San Diego State football players accused in gang-rape lawsuit
NFL punter Matt Araiza and two San Diego State football players accused in gang-rape lawsuit

The Buffalo Bills are going to have a tough decision to make. They are going to have to choose between cutting their sixth round draft pick who recently won the starting punter job, or getting harassed by the fans for not cutting him.

This is 2022, the justice system has always been innocent until proven guilty, but that has changed. I am not defending anyone or anyone’s actions in this article, but I will break down the case from my opinion. Some will like the opinion, some will hate it. I am not here to get your support, just talk about the case and break down what we know.


I have been following the San Diego State gang rape case for months now. I have been trying to find out who the player(s) were that reportedly raped a female at a college party and I was having a hard time finding it out. I have written several pieces about it and have even spoke with San Diego State police and San Diego State University to gather details.

I figured I would break down what we know already in the case against Matt Araiza and let you make a decision if they should cut him or keep him.

The Party

Disclaimer* – This is from a civil law suit filed on behalf of the victim and her legal team, not police findings.

An off-campus party that began on October 16th, the day after San Diego State beat San Jose State in overtime 19-13, moving to 6-0. The party would go into the early hours of October 17th according to the LA Times.

In the lawsuit however, the victim claims that she had already been drinking when she arrived tot he party on Rockford Drive, where Araiza lived. She stated in her claim that Araiza gave her a drink. The first allegation comes here, where she believes, “the drink not only contained alcohol but other intoxicating substances”, so the first claim is that she believes she could have been given a drug as well as the alcohol.

That is a very serious crime if true. With this allegation, the police could have checked her blood, to run tests to see if she was in fact given any drug. We are not aware if this happened, but if police did this could be the first big problem for the Bills rookie punter.

If you are convicted of Drugging a Victim with the Intent to Commit a Felony, you could be sentenced to upwards of 16 months, 2 or 3 years in a State Prison. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody.

Moving on to the incident. After spending time with Araiza and others, the victim reportedly told Matt Araiza that she was a high school student at Grossmont High School. I know people will say it is safe to assume she was under age if she was in high school and that is true, but this is her testimony. Just to be clear here. We only have one side of the story. I do not want to sound like I am being insensitive, I want to put it all out there so you can make a sound judgement decision when giving your opinion.

EVEN if she didn’t tell Araiza she was a teenager, having sex with a minor under the age of 17 is considered statutory rape in the State of California. There is no Romeo and Juliet laws, and even if the minor initiated the action, the player in this case would be considered guilty, IF HE IN FACT admitted to having sex with her. Even though she admitted to comply and perform oral sex and have sex with him, it is considered statutory rape in California, because she is under the age of 17.

So, that leads to the next part to tie in the case. Araiza and the young girl reportedly moved to the side of the house, where she performed Oral Sex, and then penetrated her from behind according to the civil case.

The first two laws under statutory rape in California are:

  • Unlawful sexual intercourse or penetration between a minor who is 17 or younger and a defendant of any age.
  • Unlawful oral sex between a minor who is 17 or younger and a defendant of any age.

Depending on other factors, particularly the ages of the parties involved, statutory rape crimes can be tried as either misdemeanors or felonies in California. The charges and potential punishments are typically more serious the younger the victim. There are a few exceptions to California’s statutory rape laws, though, that can irrefutably reduce your charge to a misdemeanor level instead of a felony level.

The only time statutory rape is legal in the State of California is if the parties are married, which is called the marital exception.

So we continue to the story. At that point the sexual encounter moved inside.

What happened inside the house?

This is pretty hard to even talk about, let alone read. We do not condone these actions for anyone, but want to talk more about the case, because it is public information now with the civil case being filed.

When Araiza took the young female into the house. He passed through the living room and into a bedroom. The case claims there were at least three others in the room with her at the time to include Araiza. She claims in the report that the punter threw her on the bed face down, and the men in the room began raping her.

The lawsuit said she was raped for an hour and a half until the party was shut down.

I will not get into the details of the rape, because they could truly make someone sick. The young girl escaped from the room as soon as possible. When she did she reported her nose, bellybutton and ear piercings were all pulled out, and she was bleeding from her vagina.

She quickly ran to her friends and told them she was raped. The next day she went to the city police department. She stated she waited five hours before an officer would speak with her, and moments after speaking with her she was taken to a hospital where she went through an extensive rape exam. This took place on October 18th, 2021.


On the 28th of October, the police began making calls to the men in the lawsuit to determine if they were present in the room when the rape occurred. In the State of California this is a legal procedure and they can in fact record the calls if it is in reference to a case.

Penal Code 632 does not apply to eavesdropping by law enforcement personnel. Police can legally “listen in” on private conversations without the consent of the parties. In addition, any evidence police obtain this way is admissible in court.

During these calls, the civil lawsuit states Matt Araiza confirmed on a call in late October that they had sex and recommended she get tested for a sexually transmitted disease. Later in the conversation, she asked him, “And did we have actual sex?” Araiza allegedly changed his tone and replied, “This is Matt Araiza. I don’t remember anything that happened that night.”

If police were recording this incident, and have evidence on this call, Matt Araiza is guilty. The admission to sex is punishable in the State of California under statutory rape. It does not matter how old the victim was, or if she lied. He would be hit for statutory rape, the wild thing is the police have not arrested him yet. Why not?

Well, the woman’s attorney, Daniel Gilleon, said police have not provided recordings of those calls or his client’s police report. The results of the rape exam have also not been disclosed either.

Many criticize San Diego State for not opening a case

An email was sent to me from San Diego State says that San Diego Police Department formally requested that SDSU not launch an investigation or conduct interviews regarding the reported off campus sexual assault to avoid compromising it’s own criminal investigation.

The email also said, SDSU has agreed to pause any investigation, but this is not a permanent stop. When appropriate, the university will reassess the appropriate action to take to ensure the university responds in a responsible way. They did state in the email however that the victim never once reached out to San Diego State University authorities.

Matt Araiza Case

We know that something happened on the early morning of October 17th. There are flaws on both sides.

Let’s break down the flaws in the case in my opinion. I am not on anyone’s side here. I hope people can realize this. I am just trying to get the facts out on the case.

Daniel Gilleon the attorney for the victim showed text messages between several unknown parties, but you can read in the first part of the text the person sent the text says “never be interested in settling any civil lawsuit filed by your client.”

Gilleon then responded “You made the decision for your client already, The offer is withdrawn.”

So Gilleon was obviously trying to settle this case before the media was involved. The court of public opinion is vicious and we are learning that today on social media, but to assume there are no flaws and this is a quick open and door case is not true.

The San Diego State police department recently released the investigation over the District Attorney’s office to see if they will pick up the case criminally.

Araiza has a criminal defense attorney, who released a statement yesterday saying, he hadn’t reviewed the complaint but called the rape accusation false. He said his investigator spoke to witnesses from the party who contradict the allegations against Araiza.

He then called it a Shakedown, because he was recently named the starting punter by the Buffalo Bills. The Bills had just cut former starting punter Matt Haack and gave the job to the rookie nicknamed Punt God. So the timing definitely looks like they want to settle the case.

So let’s look at the entire case as a whole, because it is bad either way. No matter how you look at it, it is wrong. Something likely happened that night, and the Bills are the ones that have to deal with it.

The female who was under age went to a party, she claimed she was a high school student, she believes she was drugged, she admitted to performing sexual acts with Araiza before going inside, and then claims the others raped her and she went to authorities. According to the law, she did nothing wrong, besides drinking under the required age limit. She did go to authorities, and did have a rape kit performed, the question is what were the findings. Overall, she was under the age, it doesn’t matter if she says she was 17 or not, she was a victim of statutory rape in California if Matt Araiza admitted it on the phones with a recorded line to police. That evidence is key along with the rape kit.

Matt Araiza on the other hand was of legal age to drink, if he did drug the female he could face charges for that, if a proper drug test was performed within time. Araiza reportedly performed in sexual acts with the minor, which is punishable by law in the State of California. Araiza is also being mentioned in the gang rape, which is the most damning, but the civil lawyer for the victim is not pushing for the gang rape. He keeps pushing to prove the statutory rape.

What should the Bills do?

The Buffalo Bills knew about this when Dan Gilleon contacted the Bills legal team on July 31st, according to an email that was sent from Gilleon that was retracted from the internet because he posted it with the victims name and email address on it. The Bills were aware of the situation when they released veteran punter Matt Haack though. So many people are quickly turning on the Bills and Brandon Beane. It is understandable as well, if you are a Bills fan.

The Buffalo Bills and their front office preach culture. They do it day in and day out. While they spent a draft pick on Matt Araiza, the headache may not be worth a punter. The Bills have a championship caliber team right now, and if they feel it could cause them distraction, maybe they do cut ties with him. The Bills are in fact owned by a female as well. She may have a different take on the entire situation then the staff. The Bills are kind of forced to either move on, or take the punishment of getting booed everywhere you go. Matt Araiza is a very talented punter, but he made a decision that could end up costing him his job. I personally do not know what to believe, both parties made some bad decisions, but it will be super hard to justify the Bills actions for keeping him. If they truly believe they do not need a punter, they will sign a free agent and call it a day.

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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