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Civil suit against former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza withdrawn by plaintiff

San Diego authorities previously declined to charge Ariza criminally.

Buffalo Bills Training Camp Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

The civil suit against Matt Araiza has been withdrawn by the woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted and a victim of gang rape by the former San Diego State University (SDSU) and Buffalo Bills punter.

Content warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault.

Columnist Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports was first to break the latest news about Araiza’s ongoing legal battle. As Wetzel notes:

“Araiza is making no monetary payments to the woman or admitting any guilt. In exchange for her dropping her civil suit, he agreed to drop his own defamation suit against the woman, Araiza’s lawyer told Yahoo Sports. Araiza is maintaining his right to sue the woman’s attorney, Dan Gilleon.”

Initially, Araiza — a sixth-round pick of the Bills in the 2022 NFL Draft — was investigated by authorities in San Diego following allegations of sexual assault against an accuser who was 17 years old at the time. The alleged assault purportedly occurred during a house party in 2021 while Araiza was in college. The outcome of that investigation resulted in authorities declining to prosecute Araiza, making a determination that the now-former Bills punter wasn’t even at the party at the time when the alleged gang rape was said to have taken place.

The Buffalo Bills moved on from Araiza following mounting pressure from outside the organization and due to the troubling nature of the case. Our previous reporting detailed the allegations against Araiza which included brutal details.

Araiza admitted to authorities that he had sexual relations with the victim outside the residence where the crime was alleged, but that he did not know she was only 17 and that the sex was consensual. Additionally, Araiza claimed to believe she was at least 18 due to her being at a college party and allegedly telling others there that she was 18 years old. Following the incident, Araiza reportedly contacted the woman in the suit, advising she be tested for a sexually transmitted disease due to their having engaged in unprotected sex.

Also included in Wetzel’s article was a quote by deputy district attorney Trisha Amador who stated of the alleged gang rape:

“‘In looking at the videos on the sex tape, I absolutely cannot prove any forceable sexual assault based upon what happened,’ Amador said.”

Since the moment news broke about Matt Araiza’s involvement in these allegations, he has maintained his innocence. As a result of his legal battle, Araiza saw his rookie four-year $3.8 million contract voided by One Bills Drive. Earlier this year, the New York Jets brought Araiza in for a workout, but he remains unsigned as of publishing.

Wetzel noted of other NFL teams’ interest in Araiza that:

“Numerous NFL teams told Yahoo Sports that they would be hesitant to employ Araiza as long as the civil suit was pending.”

Matt Araiza now hopes to resume his NFL career, with San Diego State University authorities, San Diego local police, and also the San Diego County prosecutor’s office declining to bring discipline or charges and now that the civil case against him has been dropped.