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HomeUncategorizedBills punter Matt Alaizha releases statement after civil lawsuit alleging gang rape:...

Bills punter Matt Alaizha releases statement after civil lawsuit alleging gang rape: 'I look forward to swift clarification'

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott spoke for the first time Friday since Bills rookie pitcher Matt Alaiza was charged Thursday during an off-campus party in San Diego State University in 2021 to speak for the first time since a civil lawsuit involved in the gang rape of a minor.

McDermott said Alaizha will go home with the team and declined to say whether he believes Alaizha will remain with the team after Tuesday’s final roster cut.

“I know there’s just been a game, but I want to talk about something more important, which is what’s going on with one of our team members right now, Matt Araiza’s This is a very serious situation,” McDermott said in a postgame news conference. “It’s just hard to go through, it’s not a situation that I or we take lightly, and it’s very serious. I understand the sensitivity of the situation and it’s clear that we have work to do to continue to address this here and we will.”

Araiza also released a statement earlier Friday.

“The facts of the incident are not as portrayed in the lawsuit or in the media,” Araiza said in a statement obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. “I’m looking forward to breaking the record as soon as possible.”

Araiza didn’t play in his team’s preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers on Friday. Araiza traveled with the team to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday and participated in Friday’s pregame game. He is currently the only punter on the Bills roster. Buffalo’s backup quarterback Matt Barkley played for the team on Friday.

McDermott said it was his decision not to play Alaizha on Friday, adding, “At the end of the day, I didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do.”

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in San Diego County Superior Court, alleges that Araiza had sex with a then 17-year-old girl in an out-of-town area — the campus home where Araiza lived, and then took her to a room , where she was repeatedly raped. Araiza is charged along with two other football players: Zavier Leonard, currently on the San Diego State roster; and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko, not on the team’s current roster. Araiza became a star bettor at SDSU in 2021 as a redshirt junior and won the Ray Guy Award as the best bettor in the country before entering the 2022 NFL Draft.

No arrests San Diego police have yet to publicly identify any suspects, according to the Associated Press.

In a statement Thursday, by NFL Network’s Mike Giardi. “Due to the seriousness of the complaint, we have thoroughly reviewed this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case, we have no further comment at this time.”

As of Friday, Asked if he believed the team had done due diligence on the matter with regard to the statement issued by the team, McDermott said he would not “go into the details.”

“It’s just a matter of trying to find the truth at the end of the day, the goal is to find the truth and do the right thing,” McDermott said, “That’s what I keep coming back to my mind, is doing what I can to find out Truth, do the right thing.”

The NFL’s Personnel Conduct Policy does not apply to events that occur before a player is drafted or added to a team. However, if criminal charges are brought against Araiza, he will be subject to league investigation and possible disciplinary action, according to league policy.

Araiza’s attorney, Kerry Armstrong, has denied the rape allegations, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Araiza was selected in the sixth round of the 2022 draft.



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