The Buffalo Bills decided to leave Matt Alaizha. The team notified the rookie punter on Saturday that he will be released after a civil lawsuit was filed in California alleging his rape.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane said it was difficult for teams to get answers about Araiza and it was “more important than football,” according to ESPN.
“There are a lot of things we don’t have control over,” Bean said. “It’s about getting Matt to handle his situation.”
Beal put Alaizha on the bench in preseason on Friday, keeping him out of practice on Saturday , and then decided to let him go. After Buffalo’s 21-0 loss to the Panthers, Bills head coach Sean McDermott was asked if Araiza would still be on the floor after Tuesday’s final cut, when he Refusing to answer that question could be the first sign that the Bills have been eliminated. Consider moving on.
“I’m not going to talk about that right now,” McDermott said via Buffalonews.com. “Obviously, like I said, obviously we have work here to do and figure this out.”
Bills’ decision to release Araiza is in the lawsuit where the punters are After his release, he was charged with participating in the gang rape of a girl who was 17 at the time of the alleged incident.
According to the lawsuit, plaintiffs went to a Halloween party at Arai’s residence near the San Diego State University campus on October 16, 2021. After arriving at the party, the girl said that Arai gave her a drink even though she was drunk. According to the lawsuit, the girl believes the drink “contains not only alcohol but other intoxicating substances”. Shortly after, Araiza allegedly had sex with the then high school student before he took her to a room where she was repeatedly raped by others.
Araiza is one of three men charged along with former San Diego State teammates Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko. Although only three people were named, the girl believes she may have been raped by as many as 20 men.
The day after the alleged incident, the girl went to the San Diego Police Department, where she told her story and completed the rape kit. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office told WIVB.com on Friday that the SDPD has referred the investigation to prosecutors to review the rape allegations. Although prosecutors are now reviewing the case, they have not announced whether any criminal charges will be filed.
Araiza said the details in the lawsuit were inaccurate.
“The facts of the incident are not described in the lawsuit or in the media,” Araiza said in a statement Friday. “I look forward to getting the facts clear soon.”
The gambler’s attorney, Kerry Armstrong, has denied all allegations, even suggesting that the accuser was just chasing Araiza’s money. “It’s an adjustment because he’s on the Buffalo Bills now,” Armstrong said via the Los Angeles Times . “There is no doubt that Matt Alaizha [never] raped the girl.”
Despite these comments from Alaiza’s attorney, there is a potential Cursed Evidence. The girl allegedly called Araiza in October while police were listening. During the call, “Araiza confirmed having sex with [the girl] and even told her that she should be tested for STDs,” the lawsuit states. Since the girl was only 17 at the time, it could have allowed Araiza to have sex with a minor, even if there was no evidence to prove the rest of the allegations.
One thing that is unclear is when Bill discovered the allegations. According to The Athletic, the team was unaware of the rape allegations when they drafted Araiza in April, but they became aware of it sometime in the past month.
The plaintiffs’ attorney, Dan Gilleon, told The Athletic that he emailed the Bills on July 31. A day later, he was on the phone with someone from the team’s general counsel, but for nearly four weeks after that, no one on the team had contacted him.
Araiza, who was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft this year, just officially won the Bill-kick job against veteran Matt Haack this week before being released.