Matt Araiza Cleared of Gang-Rape at SDSU; Signed by Chiefs

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sodenj5

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Figured this might warrant its own discussion outside of the general NFL news and transactions thread.

The most egregious misstep here from the Bills is allegedly learning about this a month ago and still cutting Matt Haack to roll with Araiza for the regular season.

Araiza fell in the draft, which suggests multiple teams likely knew of this before the draft.

So at the time of the draft, the Bills either didn’t know some extremely damning intel, or they knew and didn’t care.

Now they know, and still made the decision that Araiza kick ball far, so he’s the guy.
 
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Caspir

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Wish I didn't Google it.

https://sports.yahoo.com/bills-p-matt-araiza-2-san-diego-state-teammates-accused-of-gang-rape-in-lawsuit-223612033.html

Quick hits:

The girl was a minor. She said she was intoxicated and felt it was more than just alcohol in her drink when she was with Araiza. After he allegedly raped her, he brought her to a party where she was then raped by multiple men. The aftermath was very difficult to read. She was not in good shape. Everyone knew about the allegation, the school delayed the investigation until their star punter was gone, the Bills don't seem to care.

Also, click through to the text message exchange between lawyers. Yeesh.
 

BigJimEd

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Times of San Diego article includes pictures showing bruises on the victim's neck and legs.

“During the call, Araiza confirmed having sex with Doe, even telling her that she should get tested for STDs. When the detectives heard this, they instructed Doe to say, ‘Wait, what STD?’ Araiza told Doe that he had tested positive for chlamydia, at which time Doe was instructed to say, ‘So you know what to get tested for OK, that makes me feel a bit better.'”

The suit continued: “To cement the criminal case against Araiza, the detectives asked Doe to ask again, ‘And did we have actual sex?’ … As expected … Araiza immediately changed his tone, saying, ‘This is Matt Araiza. I don’t remember anything that happened that night,’ at which time he terminated the pretext call by hanging up on Doe.”
Sounds like Araiza figured out that it might not be a private conversation between the two of them.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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I won't jump to conclusions based on ignorance of the process, but if SDST waited until after he left school to open an investigation, heads should roll. Like, suspend the entire program or something.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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Hopefully they have enough to make this stick on the criminal side as well.

Also, click through to the text message exchange between lawyers. Yeesh.
Interesting use of screen shots by the lawyer that posted them though. He said Araiza offered $ to his client but then in the text exchange he said "the offer is withdrawn". Are all lawyers this douchey in texts with each other?
 

Average Reds

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The entire case is gross. San Diego State - like seemingly every large university with football aspirations dealing with sexual assault allegations against a star - ran out the clock on the issue and will now throw up their hands and do exactly nothing with the inevitable "he-said/she said" conclusion of the title IX investigation. The police have submitted their report to the prosecutor's office, which appears to be paralyzed by timidity leading to inaction. And the Bills want nothing to do with the entire issue because they don't seem to believe it has anything to do with them.

I get the "presumption of innocence, yadda, yadda," but I'm not in court and the conversation where Araiza tells her to get tested for an STD is dispositive. San Diego State, the local prosecutor, the Bills and Araiza himself can all go straight to hell.

Edit: It's worth noting that San Diego State's coach is Brady Hoke. Near the end of his time at Michigan, he had a player - a talented placekicker named Brendan Gibbons - who was accused of sexual assault. Hoke's reaction to the allegations was to run out the clock until Gibbons had used up his eligibility. After the University expelled Gibbons and opened an investigation into the apparent Title IX violation, Hoke issued a nonsensical word salad defense and the issue died.

Fuck Brady Hoke.
 
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PC Drunken Friar

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The entire case is gross. San Diego State - like seemingly every large university with football aspirations dealing with sexual assault allegations against a star - ran out the clock on the issue and will now throw up their hands and do exactly nothing with the inevitable "he-said/she said" conclusion of the title IX investigation. The police have submitted their report to the prosecutor's office, which appears to be paralyzed by timidity leading to inaction. And the Bills want nothing to do with the entire issue because they don't seem to believe it has anything to do with them.

I get the "presumption of innocence, yadda, yadda," but I'm not in court and the conversation where Araiza tells her to get tested for an STD is dispositive. San Diego State, the local prosecutor, the Bills and Araiza himself can all go straight to hell.
I mean, if nothing else, (and there is a WHOLE lot else) he admitted to having sex with an underage girl. In California, it is illegal to have sex with anyone under the age of 18.
 

Pesky Pole

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I mean, if nothing else, (and there is a WHOLE lot else) he admitted to having sex with an underage girl. In California, it is illegal to have sex with anyone under the age of 18.
It's also a crime in California to knowingly transmit a STD which he appears to admit to in the conversation in front of police. So that's two cut-and-dry crimes committed and admitted to in front of police. Obviously, it got much worse but what excuse do they have for not charging him at all? If the program got involved (and the article suggests other athletes advocated for action), Hoke needs to get fired and the NCAA needs to get involved. I hope the Carolina special teams runs punt block on every play tonight if these clowns let him play.
 

sodenj5

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Maybe the most baffling thing about this from a purely football perspective is people are jumping through hoops and putting their careers and livelihoods at risk for A PUNTER.

Who cares if he can boot the ball into Niagara Falls? Why wouldn’t you just cut bait and not worry about the absolute firestorm that’s going to descend upon your season where you have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations?
 

djbayko

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Wish I didn't Google it.

https://sports.yahoo.com/bills-p-matt-araiza-2-san-diego-state-teammates-accused-of-gang-rape-in-lawsuit-223612033.html

Quick hits:

The girl was a minor. She said she was intoxicated and felt it was more than just alcohol in her drink when she was with Araiza. After he allegedly raped her, he brought her to a party where she was then raped by multiple men. The aftermath was very difficult to read. She was not in good shape. Everyone knew about the allegation, the school delayed the investigation until their star punter was gone, the Bills don't seem to care.

Also, click through to the text message exchange between lawyers. Yeesh.
Minor correction but the first time he raped her was at the same party where the gang rape occurred. He didn’t bring her to the party. He just took her inside.
 

DJnVa

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djbayko

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It's also a crime in California to knowingly transmit a STD which he appears to admit to in the conversation in front of police. So that's two cut-and-dry crimes committed and admitted to in front of police. Obviously, it got much worse but what excuse do they have for not charging him at all? If the program got involved (and the article suggests other athletes advocated for action), Hoke needs to get fired and the NCAA needs to get involved. I hope the Carolina special teams runs punt block on every play tonight if these clowns let him play.
I don’t think we know for certain that this crime was committed and admitted to. Matt said he tested positive for chlamydia on the pretext phone call. 11 days had transpired between the rape and that call. It’s possible.
 

Ed Hillel

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The cops look just awful here.
The entire case is gross. San Diego State - like seemingly every large university with football aspirations dealing with sexual assault allegations against a star - ran out the clock on the issue and will now throw up their hands and do exactly nothing with the inevitable "he-said/she said" conclusion of the title IX investigation. The police have submitted their report to the prosecutor's office, which appears to be paralyzed by timidity leading to inaction. And the Bills want nothing to do with the entire issue because they don't seem to believe it has anything to do with them.

I get the "presumption of innocence, yadda, yadda," but I'm not in court and the conversation where Araiza tells her to get tested for an STD is dispositive. San Diego State, the local prosecutor, the Bills and Araiza himself can all go straight to hell.
In and of itself, it's dispositive of the fact they had sex, not that she was raped. But the rest of the facts, on their face, would appear on their face to point to the rape claims being legitimate. Hopefully the investigation into them was legitimate, as well, but the fact the cops JUST handed their report over does not give me great hope. I haven't seen any reporting on whether she had a rape kit, has anyone seen anything on that? I'd be surprised if someone who made a claim the day after the event didn't get one.

The question is what does this mean for him in the NFL? Does the lawsuit being filed now give Goodell cause to act, or is the only timeframe that matters under the CBA the time of the alleged incident? If it's the latter, looks like it's up to the Bills.
 

Cotillion

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Maybe the most baffling thing about this from a purely football perspective is people are jumping through hoops and putting their careers and livelihoods at risk for A PUNTER.

Who cares if he can boot the ball into Niagara Falls? Why wouldn’t you just cut bait and not worry about the absolute firestorm that’s going to descend upon your season where you have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations?
I went to a small Division 1 school up in the Bronx. Aspiration was for the Men's Team to get into the Dance.

We had a guy on the team that was supposed to be "elite" (he wasn't), and he wasn't panning out well on the team to the point he wasn't even a starter anymore. The RA staff twice found him peeping in girl's shower stalls. They just kicked him off campus after the second incident and put him up in a school paid for apartment to keep him on the team.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The cops look just awful here.

In and of itself, it's dispositive of the fact they had sex, not that she was raped. But the rest of the facts, on their face, would appear on their face to point to the rape claims being legitimate. Hopefully the investigation into them was legitimate, as well, but the fact the cops JUST handed their report over does not give me great hope. I haven't seen any reporting on whether she had a rape kit, has anyone seen anything on that? I'd be surprised if someone who made a claim the day after the event didn't get one.

The question is what does this mean for him in the NFL? Does the lawsuit being filed now give Goodell cause to act, or is the only timeframe that matters under the CBA the time of the alleged incident? If it's the latter, looks like it's up to the Bills.
She was 17, so at best it’s statutory rape.
 

djbayko

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I haven't seen any reporting on whether she had a rape kit, has anyone seen anything on that? I'd be surprised if someone who made a claim the day after the event didn't get one.
Yes, she did. From the civil complaint:
13. On Monday, October 18, 2021, Doe went to the San Diego Police Department's Eastern Division to report the gang rape. Despite the egregious and violent nature of the crimes she reported to the front desk personnel, Doe waited approximately five hours before an officer came
out to speak with her. Once the patrol officer recognized that Doe was a victim of a serious crime, she was taken to a hospital to undergo painful and humiliating SART examinations.
https://timesofsandiego.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/player-suit.pdf
 

BigJimEd

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In and of itself, it's dispositive of the fact they had sex, not that she was raped. But the rest of the facts, on their face, would appear on their face to point to the rape claims being legitimate. Hopefully the investigation into them was legitimate, as well, but the fact the cops JUST handed their report over does not give me great hope. I haven't seen any reporting on whether she had a rape kit, has anyone seen anything on that? I'd be surprised if someone who made a claim the day after the event didn't get one.
LA Times said she did have an exam.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-25/nfl-matt-araiza-sdsu-football-players-accused-rape-lawsuit
As soon as she escaped, she told her friends she had been raped, the lawsuit said. A day later, she went to the city’s police department, where she waited about five hours before an officer spoke with her. She was taken to a hospital and underwent an extensive rape exam.
Five hours?
 

Ed Hillel

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Thanks for the info on the rape kit, it wasn't in any of the articles I read. This makes the police look even worse.
She was 17, so at best it’s statutory rape.
I looked it up, and the CA law on it is strict as hell. Nobody over 18 can legally have sex with someone under 18. I think that's insane, and I would guess there's just a ton of prosecutorial discretion used there, but yeah they at least have him on that.
 

DJnVa

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I need one of those twitter accounts: "Is Araiza Still on the Bills?"

Shit should say NO.
 

Bongorific

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I know this is hardly apples to apples, but I appreciated at how quickly the Pats cut Hernandez when he was arrested. It’s sickening when there are very credible accusations of horrific acts and teams continue to employ a player while they pussyfoot around it.
 

Marciano490

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It must’ve been in the other thread where someone said the CBA doesn’t allow the NFL to punish players for things they did before entering the league. Even if true, would being charged/convicted of a crime after signing with the league but for conduct that accord before be the basis for punishment?

That is, a player isn’t suspended for the preNFL crime but for being arrested/charged/convicted after he was in the league.
 

cshea

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I know this is hardly apples to apples, but I appreciated at how quickly the Pats cut Hernandez when he was arrested. It’s sickening when there are very credible accusations of horrific acts and teams continue to employ a player while they pussyfoot around it.
Not that positions should play a role, but we're talking about a rookie punter. That should be the easiest of cuts.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Edit -- sorry, should not have posted. Nothing good comes from speculating here.
 
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djbayko

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There is something not quite right here. The plaintiff's attorney comes off as unhinged in the text that he screen grabbed and they seem not to establish what he says they establish and if anything make him look like he has a screw loose. The Bills' statement that they "thoroughly" investigated this a month ago is basically them saying "this didn't happen." As others have noted, this is over a freaking punter. That is a very strange limb to go out on.

Now, Occam's razor. It is possible and even highly likely that the Bills are just fucking stupid. And, most important, women don't lie about these things. I hope this post won't come off like I'm saying that I do not believe her. I do. But something is not quite right here. I am not sure what, but my spidey senses are going off.
I just don’t know how, without the privileges afforded to law enforcement, an NFL team can conduct an investigation into such matters with enough detail to gain confidence that there’s nothing there. Who do they really have access to besides Araiza and maybe cooperating friends? And let’s say, for example, Matt’s attorney has texts demonstrating that the alleged victim was trying to extract money from him before filing the civil suit. That doesn’t mean the crime didn’t happen.

I recall the NFL thoroughly investigated Ray Rice too.

The fact that the Bills say they thoroughly investigated it carries no weight with me. They’re not equipped for this stuff.
 
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DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I just don’t know how, without the privileges afforded to law enforcement, an NFL team can conduct an investigation into such matters with enough detail to gain confidence that there’s nothing there. Who do they really have access to besides Araiza and maybe cooperating friends? And let’s say, for example, Matt’s attorney has texts demonstrating that the alleged victim was trying to extract money from him before filing the civil suit. That doesn’t mean the crime didn’t happen.
Crap. You quoted me before I could delete. Sorry, nothing good comes from me speculating here. I should have thought twice before I posted.
 

Tim Salmon

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Crap. You quoted me before I could delete. Sorry, nothing good comes from me speculating here. I should have thought twice before I posted.
You’re not totally off-base in thinking something feels off… it just has nothing to do with the rape allegation itself. I find the story credible. I just can’t figure out why the victim’s attorney is posting screen grabs of partial text conversations where he comes across as an asshole.
 

snowmanny

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I am sure that the Bills investigation was complete BS, as all these things generally are, but I am struggling to understand whether it would be reasonable and appropriate for the team to contact the victim in this case. I would be surprised if that was a typical action by an employer considering hiring someone who was being sued. But I am not a lawyer.

Edit - like let’s say I’m a doctor applying to a hospital and I have a pending malpractice suit. I have to explain it from my point of view, to be sure. Does the hospital call the plaintiff? Or the plaintiff’s attorney? Probably not and in that case the lawsuit directly shines light on my ability to do my job, whereas in this case he can probably punt whether or not he is a criminal.
 

djbayko

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wE iNvEsTiGAteD tHoROughLy.
I don't think it's any surprise that they didn't talk to the girl. Slightly surprising that they didn't even attempt to. This is what I was saying about an NFL team conducing an investigation into a crime. It's silly. I can't believe that they used that as part of their messaging. Don't tell everyone you thoroughly investigated if you clearly haven't.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don't think it's any surprise that they didn't talk to the girl. Slightly surprising that they didn't even attempt to. This is what I was saying about an NFL team conducing an investigation into a crime. It's silly. I can't believe that they used that as part of their messaging. Don't tell everyone you thoroughly investigated if you clearly haven't.
They always use it as their messaging because of what the objective is.....
Getting their fans to assume innocence and rabidly defend the player. They don't care what the actual facts are, they just want to justify their decisions.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Maybe the most baffling thing about this from a purely football perspective is people are jumping through hoops and putting their careers and livelihoods at risk for A PUNTER.

Who cares if he can boot the ball into Niagara Falls? Why wouldn’t you just cut bait and not worry about the absolute firestorm that’s going to descend upon your season where you have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations?
If he was a speedy receiver with a wild feline nickname, it would be a much closer call!

Anyways, I think he will get cut before the season starts the way this is going. The Bills stepped in it by keeping him, but this is blowing up too much to ride out. I’m prepared to be wrong, but I hope I am right.
 

Van Everyman

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What the hell was Buffalo thinking? Did they think this somehow wasn't going to come out? I mean, even if they didn't interview the accuser, they had to know some of the details in this article, ie, what the police report and her lawyer said. Even by NFL "who gives a shit" standards, the arrogance here is breathtaking.
 

Harry Hooper

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I recall the NFL thoroughly investigated Ray Rice too.
You are joking here, right? What the NFL claims to have done for years means very little. They are fully capable of disappearing stuff or alternatively not pursuing certain leads.
 

Jungleland

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Not to take away from just how utterly disgusting this all is, but god do the Bills look fucking stupid (and that's a charitable word for it) every minute he's still on the roster today.
 

Preacher

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I haven't seen any reporting on whether she had a rape kit, has anyone seen anything on that? I'd be surprised if someone who made a claim the day after the event didn't get one.
Depending on the hospital’s program, they’ll do kits out to 7 days after. After about 72 hours, the chances of finding genetic material is low and after about 96 hours, most injuries have healed unless they’re very traumatic injuries or the victim is prepubescent. They still do it because there’s a chance they find something but it also can be important for the piece of mind of the victim to let the person know everything is ok (and they can test for STDs).
 

dynomite

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while we’re on the subject of sexual assault forensic kits, I take the opportunity to emphasize how horrifying and invasive and traumatic these things can be, in the hopes that most of us — I hope to God — will never have to be personally exposed to one. I worked with our Human Trafficking Division when I was at the Mass AG’s Office and the entire process is worth understanding.

I’ll spoiler in case it’s upsetting to read about, but It involves spending hours — days after you have been assaulted — having a medical professional examine your entire naked body, taking swabs, pictures, and evidence, and interviewing you in detail about one of the worst moments of your life. You aren’t supposed to even shower ahead of time. And often it’s the only way to gather critical physical evidence to prosecute these cases.

  • History. You will be asked about your current medications, pre-existing conditions, and other questions pertaining to your health history. Some of the questions, such as those about recent consensual sexual activity, may seem very personal, but these questions are designed to ensure that DNA and other evidence collected from the exam can be connected to the perpetrator. You will also be asked about the details of what has happened to you to help identify all potential areas of injury as well as places on your body or clothes where evidence may be located.
  • Head-to-toe examination. This part of the exam may be based on your specific experience, which is why it is important to give an accurate history. It may include a full body examination, including internal examinations of the mouth, vagina, and/or anus. It may also include taking samples of blood, urine, swabs of body surface areas, and sometimes hair samples. The trained professional performing the exam may take pictures of your body to document injuries and the examination. With your permission, they may also collect items of clothing, including undergarments. Any other forms of physical evidence that are identified during the examination may be collected and packaged for analysis, such as a torn piece of the perpetrator’s clothing, a stray hair, or debris.

It must’ve been in the other thread where someone said the CBA doesn’t allow the NFL to punish players for things they did before entering the league. Even if true, would being charged/convicted of a crime after signing with the league but for conduct that accord before be the basis for punishment?

That is, a player isn’t suspended for the preNFL crime but for being arrested/charged/convicted after he was in the league.
This seems difficult to enforce, particularly for a crime as heinous as the one under discussion here, no? Much like the Trevor Bauer situation in MLB, I think (for better or worse) the uncertain and inconsistent enforcement gives teams some latitude.
 

Preacher

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while we’re on the subject of sexual assault forensic kits, I take the opportunity to emphasize how horrifying and invasive and traumatic these things can be, in the hopes that most of us — I hope to God — will never have to be personally exposed to one. I worked with our Human Trafficking Division when I was at the Mass AG’s Office and the entire process is worth understanding.

I’ll spoiler in case it’s upsetting to read about, but It involves spending hours — days after you have been assaulted — having a medical professional examine your entire naked body, taking swabs, pictures, and evidence, and interviewing you in detail about one of the worst moments of your life. You aren’t supposed to even shower ahead of time. And often it’s the only way to gather critical physical evidence to prosecute these cases.

  • History. You will be asked about your current medications, pre-existing conditions, and other questions pertaining to your health history. Some of the questions, such as those about recent consensual sexual activity, may seem very personal, but these questions are designed to ensure that DNA and other evidence collected from the exam can be connected to the perpetrator. You will also be asked about the details of what has happened to you to help identify all potential areas of injury as well as places on your body or clothes where evidence may be located.
  • Head-to-toe examination. This part of the exam may be based on your specific experience, which is why it is important to give an accurate history. It may include a full body examination, including internal examinations of the mouth, vagina, and/or anus. It may also include taking samples of blood, urine, swabs of body surface areas, and sometimes hair samples. The trained professional performing the exam may take pictures of your body to document injuries and the examination. With your permission, they may also collect items of clothing, including undergarments. Any other forms of physical evidence that are identified during the examination may be collected and packaged for analysis, such as a torn piece of the perpetrator’s clothing, a stray hair, or debris.
[/spoiler
Not only do they take pictures of your body, they also take pictures of the genitalia (exterior and interior) and maybe anus with a colposcope. Those pictures end up in the investigative file and are sometimes shown at trial.
 

djbayko

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They always use it as their messaging because of what the objective is.....
Getting their fans to assume innocence and rabidly defend the player. They don't care what the actual facts are, they just want to justify their decisions.
You are joking here, right? What the NFL claims to have done for years means very little. They are fully capable of disappearing stuff or alternatively not pursuing certain leads.
Yeah, but it’s stupid because the truth comes out and they look like assholes. As they do here, and this time it only took a few hours.
 

Justthetippett

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What the hell was Buffalo thinking? Did they think this somehow wasn't going to come out? I mean, even if they didn't interview the accuser, they had to know some of the details in this article, ie, what the police report and her lawyer said. Even by NFL "who gives a shit" standards, the arrogance here is breathtaking.
And not to be cynical but they’re doing it all for a punter, not their star QB or some other integral player. Absolutely no one would blink an eye if they cut this guy last night when the story first broke.
 

Marciano490

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I think the NFL and its teams have learned to just never ever give an inch or admit wrongdoing. After all, if you suspend a rookie punter for gang rape, next thing you know, you’re suspending star QBs for that and that’s obviously just a bridge too far. Seems like there are pretty clear and shitty reasons not to have any precedent out there that could someday force you to say, well Player A is more valuable, so his punishment is less.
 

Awesome Fossum

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If I owned the team, I would have him cut, but I think the "he's just a punter" takes are slightly off. He's one of the best punting prospects to come out of college in a long time, the team invested a draft pick in him, and punting is in fact really important. It's easy to see why the Bills don't want to cut him. It's harder to see why they don't suck it up and do it anyway.
 
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