The woman who accused him alleges that Matt Araiza and two other San Diego State University players assaulted her for more than an hour.
Matt Araiza : Accused women | Rape allegations
Araiza’s release begins to ease a crisis which has shaken the team as reflected by coach Sean McDermott having difficulty containing his emotions while discussing the situation following a 21-0 preseason loss at Carolina on Friday night.
Without being specific, McDermott said he was unaware of some of the revelations that came out once the lawsuit was filed a day earlier, and repeatedly said the team has work to do to get to the truth.
“It’s not a situation we take lightly. I’m hurt, I understand they’re hurt,” McDermott said referring to Buffalo’s fanbase.
“It’s not easy to hear about some of the things that I’ve heard about over the last several hours say. Haven’t slept a lot to be honest with you.”
The 18-year-old woman who accused him alleges that Araiza and two other San Diego State University players assaulted her for more than an hour at a party in October.
She said her phone was taken from her, her piercings were ripped out and she was left bleeding after the alleged assault.
“I was crying, and my friend asked me what happened,” the woman, who was 17 when the incident allegedly happened, told CBS News. “And I told her, ‘I had just been raped.'”
She wrote in her journal the next day: “All I keep replaying in my mind is being face down in a random bed just waiting for it to be over.”
“I was having to deal with this horrible traumatic experience that I never asked for,” she told CBS News.
The Buffalo Bills released punter Matt Araiza two days after a civil lawsuit was filed alleging he and two of his former San Diego State teammates gang raped a minor.
All three are accused of rape, gender violence and false imprisonment.
“This is bigger than football,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said Saturday night. “Let’s just step back and [let Araiza] go handle this. That’s what we thought was most important.”
Beane said in a news conference held over two hours after practice ended in the team’s fieldhouse that the decision was made to release Araiza earlier that afternoon.
Araiza was not at practice Saturday after being held out of Friday’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. He was not on the sideline during the game or in the locker room afterward. He traveled back to Buffalo on the team plane and has not spoken with reporters since the civil suit was filed.
In a statement released during the game Friday, Araiza said, “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.”