Matt Araiza, a former Buffalo Bills punter, will not face criminal charges in connection with allegations that he participated in a gang rape of a minor while attending San Diego State. The Bills released Araiza, a rookie, after the allegations first surfaced publicly in August.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office made the decision public on Wednesday, stating that “prosecutors determined it is clear the evidence does not support the filing of criminal charges.”
In a statement to DailyMail.com, Dan Gilleon, who represented the plaintiff known as ‘Jane Doe,’ accused the DA’s office of dismissing his client because she was intoxicated. According to the DA’s office, the decision came after an investigation that included more than 35 witness interviews and evidence derived from 10 search warrants that included cellphone data and video from the night in question.
The statement said that prosecutors ultimately determined that the evidence does not support the filing of criminal charges and that there is no path to a potential criminal conviction. They are only allowed to file charges if they believe they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The accuser’s attorney Dan Gilleon tweeted that he was never surprised when a prosecutor does not file sexual assault charges when the victim was intoxicated. He felt that it’s a rare case where the criminal justice system achieves anything satisfactory for a sexual assault victim.
The Bills released Araiza in August, just days after supporting him based on the results of what the team called a “thorough examination” of the allegations in the lawsuit.
In the suit, the accuser, now 18, claimed that Araiza, then 21, had sex with her in a side yard at an off-campus residence before dragging her into a bedroom where a group of men raped her. She claimed she went in and out of consciousness for about 90 minutes while the men assaulted her. After the alleged assault, the woman claimed that her phone was stolen, her piercings were ripped out, and she was left bleeding. According to the court filing, she told her friends that she’d been raped that night and reported the assault to the police the next day.
The university has come under fire for delaying an administrative investigation into the allegations. San Diego State officials have stated that they deferred their investigation at the request of police for fear of jeopardizing the criminal investigation.
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