Former Bills punter Matt Araiza is not going to be criminally charged after he was accused in a civil suit in August of collaborating in a gang rape and false imprisonment of a 17-year-old woman, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office introduced Wednesday.

“Ultimately, prosecutors determined it is clear the evidence does not support the filing of criminal charges and there is no path to a potential criminal conviction,” the DA’s office said in a release. “Prosecutors can only file charges when they ethically believe they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The lawsuit, filed in California, alleges Araiza and former San Diego State teammates Zavier Leonard and Pa’a Ewaliko dedicated rape, false imprisonment and gender-violence crimes at a Halloween social gathering at Araiza’s residence on Oct. 17, 2021. Neither of Araiza’s former teammates will probably be charged, the DA stated.

The Bills released Araiza two days after the swimsuit was filed. Buffalo common supervisor Brandon Beane stated the Bills had been unaware of any allegations in opposition to Araiza earlier than they used a sixth-round draft alternative on him in April and didn’t know something concerning the rape investigation till late July.

After Buffalo’s preseason finale in opposition to the Panthers, coach Sean McDermott stated the Bills had realized new details about the case for the reason that lawsuit was filed.

The lawsuit claims the plaintiff, known as Jane Doe, went to the San Diego Police Department, and {that a} police investigation concerned detectives teaching her by means of supervised conversations with Araiza and contains direct quotes from Araiza advising her to be examined for a sexually transmitted illness.

San Diego police stated in August they’d turned over their investigation into the allegations to the DA’s workplace. The DA’s workplace stated Wednesday it “meticulously analyzed all the evidence in the case, including over 35 taped witness interviews, the results of a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) exam, DNA results, and evidence derived from 10 search warrants.” It added that its workplace labored with the SDPD to “conduct further investigation, which resulted in interviewing additional witnesses.”

The DA’s workplace stated it met with the accuser twice and “offered support from the DA’s Victim Services, consistent with trauma informed practices of the DA’s Sex Crimes Division.”

Araiza’s agent distributed a press release attributed to the punter, who hasn’t spoken publicly for the reason that swimsuit was filed, throughout the recreation in opposition to the Panthers: “The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press. I look forward to quickly setting the record straight.”

After the DA’s announcement Wednesday, Dan Gilleon, the plaintiff’s lawyer, informed The Athletic he’s “not surprised” by the shortage of felony expenses.

“It’s a very rare case where the criminal justice system achieves anything satisfactory for the victim in a sexual assault,” Gilleon stated. “It is only in the civil system that a victim of sexual assault can achieve justice, and we plan to do just that.”

Araiza’s lawyer Kerry Armstrong was not instantly out there for remark.

(Photo: Darren Yamashita / USA Today)



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