Months after being cleared of wrongdoing, Matt Araiza’s accuser has dropped her lawsuit against the “Punt God” in which she said he raped her.
The woman, who was 17 at the time of the incident, said she was gang-raped by Araiza and others at a party near his alma mater, San Diego State University, in 2021.
But prosecutors and the school both said the actions between the two were consensual.
“The win is bittersweet,’ Araiza’s attorney, Dick Semerdjian, said in a statement, via Yahoo Sports. “Matt has been forced to defend himself for the last sixteen months against false accusations and a campaign to ruin his career in the NFL. He will never get this time in his life back.
“We cannot overstate the importance to our system of justice of the presumption of innocence,” Semerdjian continued. “Matt has always maintained his innocence, despite the public outcry that resulted when he was falsely accused of crimes and civil assault. Thankfully, there was extensive evidence that was key to securing Matt’s voluntary dismissal from this lawsuit.
“Matt was and has always been innocent,” Semerdjian continued. “The case is over, and Matt has prevailed. He now has the full intention of returning to the NFL in hopes of resuming a successful punting career.”
The lawsuit alleged Araiza had thrown the girl on a bed “face first,” and she went in and out of consciousness while having unsolicited sex. The lawsuit added that it lasted an hour and a half, and she left the room bloodied and crying.
Araiza admitted to having sex with her, not knowing she was 17. However, it was revealed that Araiza was no longer at the party when the alleged gang-rape occurred.
He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2022, but was released during training camp, two days after the suit was filed.
Araiza said he plans on suing the accuser’s lawyer for defamation.