Buffalo Bills Punter Accused of Gang Raping Teenage Girl

Buffalo Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza and two of his former San Diego State teammates have been accused of gang raping a 17-year-old girl. The assault allegedly happened last year. The victim filed a lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court on Thursday. The other men named in the complaint are Zavier Leonard, a redshirt freshman with the Aztecs, and Nowlin Ewaliko, who was a freshman last season but is no longer on the listed roster. All three are accused of rape, gender violence and false imprisonment.

The lawsuit accuses Araiza, who was 21 at the time, of having sex with the then-high school senior, who was under the age of consent in California, outside at an off-campus party held at his residence during the early hours of Oct. 17, 2021. The victim says Araiza then brought her inside a room where at least three other men were, including Leonard and Ewaliko. The victim says she was repeatedly raped for about an hour and a half until the party was shut down. The victim alleges Araiza handed her a drink, but did not see him pour it. The victim alleges the drink may have contained other "intoxicating substances" besides alcohol.

Dan Gilleon, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, said he emailed the Buffalo Bills organization in July.

In a statement Thursday, the Bills said they "were recently made aware of a civil complaint involving Matt from October 2021. Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted a thorough examination of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case, we will have no other comment at this point."

The NFL said in a statement that it was aware of the incident but declined to comment. Because the alleged rape happened before Araiza was drafted, he would not be subject to the league's personal conduct policy.

Araiza's criminal attorney, Kerry Armstrong, called the accusation false.

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