Police lights
Representation. The lights of a police car. tevenet/Pixabay


  • NFL rookie Matt Araiza is accused along with several other men of gang-raping a minor at a party while he was still a college football player
  • His fellow players from San Diego State University, Zavier Leonard and Nowlin Ewaliko, were among the accused
  • The men allegedly took turns raping the victim for an hour and a half as she went in and out of consciousness

Buffalo Bills rookie Matt Araiza has been accused along with two others from his alma mater, San Diego State University, of gang-raping a minor late last year in a civil lawsuit filed Thursday.

The complaint filed in San Diego County Superior Court alleged that Araiza gave the victim a drink that "not only contained alcohol, but other intoxicating substances" during a house party on Rockford Drive near SDSU in October 2021, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The then-17-year-old victim allegedly told Araiza that she was a high school student, and the football player, who was nicknamed the "Punt God" for his ability to punt footballs up to 80 yards, could also see that she was highly intoxicated, the complaint said.

Despite this, Araiza, now 22, proceeded to have sex with the minor, the lawsuit alleged. He allegedly took the victim to a bedroom where fellow San Diego State University football players Zavier Leonard and Nowlin Ewaliko, as well as at least one other man, were and threw her down on the bed face first.

The men allegedly took turns raping the girl for an hour and a half as she went in and out of consciousness until the party was shut down.

The off-campus party started on Oct. 16, 2021, while the alleged assault occurred in the early hours of the next day, according to the complaint.

During the alleged gang rape, the victim noticed a light as if someone was taking a cellphone video, the complaint said.

The teen later "stumbled out of the room bloody and crying. Her nose, bellybutton, and ear piercings had been pulled out, and she was also bleeding from her vagina," the lawsuit read.

She informed her friends of the incident upon escaping and was taken to a hospital to undergo an extensive rape exam after talking with police.

The victim, at the request of police, made pretext calls that were recorded by detectives with the men named in the lawsuit whom police "had determined were present in the room when the rape occurred."

Araiza confirmed on a call in late October that he and the girl had sex and recommended that she get tested for a sexually transmitted disease.

Police, who guided the woman during the pretext calls, have not provided records of those calls or the victim's police report, her attorney Daniel Gilleon told the L.A. Times.

The results of the rape exam have also not been disclosed, the lawyer said.

Kerry Armstrong, Araiza's lawyer, has not reviewed the complaint, but he called the rape accusation false, according to the L.A. Times. Armstrong's investigator spoke to witnesses from the party who contradicted the allegations against Araiza, the attorney said.

"It's a shakedown because he's now with the Buffalo Bills," Armstrong claimed.

"There is no doubt in my mind" that Araiza did not rape the teen, he added.

Marc Xavier Carlos, the attorney representing Ewaliko in an ongoing criminal investigation of the incident, said he could not comment on the lawsuit, according to the outlet.

Lawyer Jamahl Kersey, who is representing Leonard, told the L.A. Times that he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

Leonard is listed on the university's fall football roster as a redshirt freshman. Ewaliko is not on the current roster, but he was on the team last year as a freshman.

People toasting
Representation. Matt Araiza, a rookie punter for New York's Buffalo Bills, allegedly gave a 17-year-old a drink that "not only contained alcohol, but other intoxicating substances" during an off-campus house party last October, a lawsuit alleged. gfs_mizuta/Pixabay