Former Buffalo Bills kicker Matt Araiza is waiting for the audio recording of a Dec. 7 meeting with the woman who accused him and two of his former San Diego State football teammates of gang rape and a San Diego County Attorney get an NFL team to sign him one more time.
His accuser hopes the exact opposite, as she wants to be held accountable for actions she knows Araiza and his former teammates committed at a party on the SDSU campus in October 2021.
USA TODAY Sports spoke to Araiza and the woman about the 101-minute audio recording of the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Trisha Amador, telling the woman and her attorney that no criminal charges would be filed against Araiza or her former teammates afterward. of his 124-day investigation that included four terabytes of data, more than 35 recorded witness interviews, a physical examination of the woman and nine video clips of the woman’s sexual encounters that night.
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«I don’t think it exonerates anyone,» the woman said of the recording of her and Amador, via USA TODAY Sports.
On the other side of the ongoing civil lawsuit, Araiza and his agent, Joe Linta, believe it’s enough for NFL teams to consider their punting services again. The Bills, after selecting him in the sixth round of last year’s NFL Draft, released him before the season began. He had earned the punt spot during the preseason.
Linta has sent the audio recording to «about 20 NFL teams» to get her client’s career back on track.
«I know the teams know the real facts,» Araiza told USA TODAY Sports. «They’ve heard the audio. They know this is not true. It’s that we need the public to understand it too. Because I think the teams are afraid that if they sign me, there will be a bit of a backlash because the public has been told things that aren’t true.»
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To analyze the case, prosecutors had to recreate the timeline of that night, where the woman, who was 17 at the time and claims to be heavily intoxicated, was allegedly raped.
One of the most important pieces of evidence they found was that Araiza had allegedly left the house party around 12:30 a.m., and prosecutors determined that the alleged rape of the woman occurred an hour later.
«I wasn’t even at the party anymore,» Amador told the woman, via Yahoo Sports. «All I know is that at that point, the suspect Araiza is no longer at the party.»
There were also video clips of the sexual encounters the woman had that night, including one that apparently showed two men in a bedroom. Other video clips showed Araiza’s teammate, Pa’a Ewaliko, on a sofa in the living room during a separate sexual encounter.
While they determined that none of the men shown were Araiza in any of the videos based on physical features, prosecutors did not see any evidence of force or lack of consent from the woman.
“Because of what is on the video, I cannot prove a forcible sexual assault,” Amador told the woman.
One of the witnesses (friends of the woman were included in the witness interviews) also mentioned that the woman would approach the men at the party and say, «I want you to [expletive] me and if you don’t [expletive] I am a [expletive].»
“It is alleged that one of those people that he approached was Pa’a and he made that statement to Pa’a, and that is something that was heard by a separate independent witness,” Amador said.
The woman said she «did not remember» asking for sex, but Amador said witnesses heard differently.
“Witnesses say… that shortly after you arrived at the party, you left and returned shortly after. and you said [a friend], ‘I just had sex,'» Amador told the girl, via Yahoo Sports. «You didn’t seem unhappy. You seemed to have fun and that the meeting at the side of the house with Matt, Araiza’s suspect, was consensual.»
In the incident with Araiza, he admitted to having sex with the woman that night during a call that was recorded by police a few days after the party. The event occurred on the side of the house in a private area. He said she never entered the house, let alone dumped her face down on the bed as the civil lawsuit claims.
«We had a brief encounter and it’s not at all how it’s been portrayed in the media or in the lawsuit,» Araiza told USA TODAY Sports.
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Another big part of this case is that the woman was 17 at the time of the incident, and whether Araiza and her partners knew she was a minor.
“A witness who was at the house gave a statement saying that at least one point at the party, you made a statement telling people at the party that you were 18 years old,” Amador told the girl. «Another witness at the party, a different one, says that they specifically heard you say that you were 18 years old…»
The woman’s lawsuit says that she «informed Araiza that she attended Grossmont High School,» which would indicate that she was not 18 years old. However, Amador mentioned that part of the lawsuit during the audio recording, and the woman denied saying so.
«No. That wasn’t me,» she replied.
Grossmont could also be in reference to Grossmont College, which is not far from the SDSU campus.
«I didn’t say my age at all and nobody asked me,» the woman told USA TODAY Sports. «Matt didn’t ask me. None of the guys asked me. No one at the party asked me, so they just didn’t ask me and I didn’t answer.»
Ultimately, prosecutors were unable to determine the level of intoxication of the woman, which the woman did not like.
«Oh that’s [expletive]like you can’t prove any of that,» he said after Amador explained the situation.
Araiza also pointed out that he never gave the woman a drink that night and that she did not appear intoxicated to him. The woman claims that she was drinking from a vodka bottle that night.
«They describe you as if you were fine, without fear or anguish,» Amador explained. «He seemed happy, he seemed spoiled. And there’s no indication that you were at a level of intoxication at this time.»
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The woman’s attorney, Dan Gilleon, told Fox News Digital that he has no problem taking the case to trial where «we will force Araiza to speak.»
“The Araiza team continues to litigate the case in the media because they know that the information they are leaking has no relevance to the lawsuit,” Gilleon said. «Matt Araiza will dress in a suit and tie for the television crews in a pointless court hearing, but he will not speak to the media as Jane Doe has and will continue to do. The first time Araiza had the opportunity to tell his side of the story was when he was contacted by the police. He took the fifth, asserting his right not to incriminate himself. Since then, he has remained silent as his lawyers leak irrelevant information to the media and attack the victim, apparently thinking she will be intimidated to drop his case. It’s not going to happen. This case will go to trial and we’ll force Araiza to speak.»
He also confirmed a report to USA TODAY Sports that he offered to settle Araiza’s case for $50,000, which was turned down.
«To conform is to admit guilt,» said Araiza. «That’s not the truth. That’s not what happened.»
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Evaliko faces a separate criminal charge for possession of child pornography after police found videos on her iCloud account during their investigation. He has since pleaded not guilty.
Civil lawsuits by Araiza, Ewaliko and another former teammate, Zavier Leonard, are also pending.