Matt Araiza signs with Chiefs after rape accuser drops lawsuit


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Matt Araiza was a sixth-round pick in 2022, but he put the league on notice with his booming punts in training camp and preseason games. His powerful leg earned him the nickname “Punt God.”

However, shortly before that NFL season was set to begin, Araiza was accused of being involved in a gang-rape of a 17-year-old at a college party at his alma mater of San Diego State University. He was then released by the Buffalo Bills.

Araiza fought to clear his name for roughly 16 months, and developments show as such.

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Matt Araiza points away

Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza waves to fans after a preseason NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Orchard Park, N.Y., Saturday, August 13, 2022.  (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

Now, nearly two years after being drafted, he has agreed to join the back-to-back Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

“I am proud and honored to sign a contract with the Chiefs,” Araiza said in a statement through his agency, JL Sports, on X. “I am thrilled to be able to continue my NFL career. 

“I want to thank my family, who have been my rock and my many friends who have been unwavering in their support. I am excited to begin the next phase of my career with the Super Bowl Champs!”

Araiza’s accuser dropped the lawsuit last December. Prosecutors and the school both said the actions between the two were consensual.

The lawsuit alleged that Araiza had thrown the girl on a bed “face first,” and that she had gone in and out of consciousness while having unsolicited sex. The lawsuit added that it lasted an hour and a half, and that she left the room bloodied and crying.

Matt Araiza at San Diego State

Matt Araiza, #PK01 of the San Diego State Aztecs, speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 5, 2022, in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

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Araiza admitted to having sex with her, having met her outside during the night in question, but not knowing that she was 17. However, it was revealed that Araiza was no longer at the party when the alleged gang rape occurred.

There were also videos of the incident inside the bedroom where prosecutors didn’t see enough to say it was a gang rape instead of consensual sex. Prosecutors also said the accuser had been lying about her age to other men at the party, saying she was 18.

Witnesses also said the girl had been leaving and returning to her friends, saying that she had had sex with someone. After the Araiza encounter, despite the civil lawsuit saying that he had led her to a bedroom, prosecutors found that she had left her friend group again and returned, saying that she had had sex with a different man. Deputy District Attorney Trisha Amador also made sure to point out again that the girl hadn’t been under the influence.

There was another witness who claimed that the girl had been “approaching men at the party saying, ‘I want you to [expletive] me, and if you don’t [expletive] me you’re a [expletive].”

Matt Araiza running

Matt Araiza, #19 of the Buffalo Bills, takes the field during practice on August 5, 2022, in Orchard Park, New York. (Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

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Araiza said he plans to sue the accuser’s lawyer for defamation.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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