An lawyer representing the lady who says Buffalo rookie punter Matt Araiza raped her final 12 months when she was 17 stated the Payments by no means spoke to the lady whereas investigating allegations in a civil lawsuit filed Thursday in San Diego County Superior Courtroom.
The Payments cited their examination, which occurred final month, in deciding to maintain Araiza, a sixth-round draft decide out of San Diego State nicknamed “Punt God,’’ whom they named their starter this week.
“They didn’t do an investigation,’’ Dan Gilleon, an lawyer representing the lady listed within the lawsuit as Jane Doe, advised USA TODAY Sports activities on Friday. “I imply, you may’t examine whenever you don’t even ask the first witness what occurred.
“There’s two individuals concerned. You’ve received to speak to each individuals.’’
In a press release Thursday, the Payments stated they “had been not too long ago made conscious of a civil criticism involving Matt from October 2021. Because of the critical nature of the criticism, we carried out a radical examination of this matter. As that is an ongoing civil case, we can have no different remark at this level.”
Araiza launched a press release of his personal Friday. “The info of the incident are usually not what they’re portrayed within the lawsuit or within the press,” Araiza stated in a press release offered to USA TODAY Sports activities by his agent, Joe Linta. “I stay up for rapidly setting the report straight.”
On July 31, Gilleon emailed the Payments’ normal counsel, Kathryn D’Angelo, and stated he represented the lady who accused Araiza of raping her as a part of a gang-rape, in keeping with a replica of the e-mail obtained by USA TODAY Sports activities.
Gilleon has stated he spoke to D’Angelo by cellphone the following day.
“I had one dialog with (D’Angelo),’’ Gilleon stated. “Prolonged dialog. She didn’t ask too many questions. I simply did a whole lot of the speaking.
“She stated she would get again to me and he or she by no means did. After which I adopted up with an e mail to her saying, ‘Hey, two weeks in the past you advised me you’d get again to me. You haven’t.’ And nonetheless no reply in anyway.’’
It’s USA TODAY coverage to not establish individuals who allegedly have been sexually assaulted.
Derek Boyko, the Vice President of Communications for the Payments, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from USA TODAY Sports activities by cellphone.
Lawyer Kerry Armstrong, who represents Araiza, stated he has been in contact with the Payments “fairly steadily over the past a number of weeks.”
“I’m very impressed by the best way they’ve handled Matt and by the best way they’ve handled me,’’ Armstrong advised USA TODAY Sports activities. “I’ve given them some data they usually’ve carried out their very own investigation with their very own investigators as effectively. That’s my understanding anyway.
“And I feel they’ve come to date to the right conclusion, that’s to not reduce Matt Araiza based mostly on these conclusions based mostly on these allegations.’’
Armstrong stated the Payments spoke to Araiza and him concerning the allegations.
“A few of each, however largely via me,” he stated through textual content message.
The San Diego Police Division has submitted its investigation of the matter to the San Diego County District Lawyer’s workplace and it’s at present underneath evaluation, in keeping with Tanya Sierra, Public Affairs Officer for the District Lawyer’s workplace.
“There isn’t any timeline for the way lengthy it should take,” Sierra stated by e mail to USA TODAY Sports activities.
The alleged incident occurred Oct. 16-17 at an off-campus occasion the place Araiza lived, in keeping with the lawsuit.
The lady stated Araiza, who was 21 on the time, gave her a drink she believes “not solely contained alcohol, however different intoxicating substances” regardless of her saying she was in highschool, in keeping with the lawsuit. The lawsuit says Araiza took the intoxicated teen to the facet of the home and advised her to carry out oral intercourse on him earlier than he “pulled her up from the bottom, turned her round going through away from the occasion,” and “penetrated her from behind.
Then, the lady stated, Araiza took her to a bed room the place his teammates took turns raping her for an hour and a half, in keeping with the lawsuit. The lady additionally stated she was raped by two different soccer gamers, Zavier Leonard, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman at San Diego State, and Pa’a Ewaliko, who was a freshman defensive lineman and now not is listed on the roster.
The lady stated she went out and in of consciousness in the course of the sexual assault, in keeping with the lawsuit.
In keeping with the lawsuit, the lady advised her associates that she had been raped after she escaped the bed room “bloody and crying.” The subsequent day she alerted the San Diego Police Division and underwent a rape examination at a youngsters’s hospital, in keeping with the lawsuit.
On Oct. 19, two days after the alleged incident, the San Diego Police Division (SDPD) contacted San Diego State and confirmed it had obtained a criticism concerning the matter, in keeping with La Monica Everett-Haynes, the varsity’s Affiliate Vice President and Chief Communications Officer.
The police had opened an investigation into the matter and requested San Diego State “to face down and never launch an unbiased investigation,’’ Everett-Haynes stated by e mail.
“The college, after a lot consideration, agreed to not provoke an investigation to keep away from compromising the felony investigation led by SDPD,’’ the college stated in a press release offered to USA TODAY Sports activities.
The alleged incident occurred on the evening after San Diego State beat rival San Jose State 19-13 in time beyond regulation and improved to 6-0 for under the second time in 46 years.
The crew completed 12-2, certainly one of its finest seasons in years, and Araiza received the Ray Man Award – given to the perfect punter in school soccer – and obtained All-America honors.
His lawyer stated college officers, together with head soccer coach Brady Hoke, by no means spoke to him concerning the allegations.
“I requested Matt that, whether or not he had talked to anybody from the crew, so far as coaches or college directors like that,’’ Armstrong stated. “They usually by no means, ever even talked to them about it throughout final season.’’
Armstrong defended the college in opposition to criticism it ought to have investigated the matter earlier than the police investigation not too long ago ended. “San Diego State’s getting a foul rap over this,’’ he stated.
However the lady’s lawyer stated the varsity acted in its finest curiosity by preserving Araiza, Leonard and Ewaliko on the roster.
“It’s no coincidence that the dealing with of this case permitted them to have these guys come again on the sector and in flip have a really successful season,’’ Gilleon stated.
Attorneys for Leonard and Ewaliko didn’t return messages from USA TODAY Sports activities by e mail.
Contributing: Cydney Henderson