SDSU: ‘No findings’ against Araiza, other students
BUFFALO, N.Y. — San Diego State University concluded on Friday that there are no findings against former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza after conducting an investigation into allegations of rape and gang rape. A criminal investigation was also conducted, with no charges filed, and a civil case remains ongoing in the matter.
“While the university cannot provide specific information related to its student disciplinary proceedings and investigations, or specific information related to student records, it can confirm that none of the former students named in the civil suit are now the subject of an active investigation,” SDSU said in a statement provided to ESPN. “In addition, they are not currently enrolled, active students or affiliated with any athletics activities.
“SDSU reserves the right to reinstate investigations based on new developments.”
The student conduct investigation proceeded in July 2022 after the San Diego Police Department told the university that doing so would not interfere with its investigation. The night of the alleged rapes was in October 2021, and the girl, who was 17 at the time, reported to the police the next day. The police went on to investigate the allegations for nine months before turning over their investigation to prosecutors on Aug. 5, 2022. The police did not recommend charges be filed.
The Bills released Araiza on Aug. 27, two days after the lawsuit was filed.
On Dec. 7, 2022, the San Diego District Attorney’s office announced that Araiza and the other students listed on the civil suit, Zavier Leonard and Nowlin Ewaliko, would not face criminal charges.
The civil case against Araiza remains ongoing, with a trial date still set for October 2023. Dan Gilleon, the woman’s attorney, told ESPN in a text that his client did not speak to SDSU, reiterating that she was not an SDSU student and that the location of the alleged events was not on SDSU’s campus.
Gilleon wrote that the no findings by SDSU is “meaningless.”
SDSU did not share extensive details into the two other former SDSU students listed in the civil suit, stating, “It is accurate that Matt Araiza was not a named respondent in the university’s investigation; however, in terms of other individuals named as respondents, and who have been part of active investigations under the student code of conduct this past year, the university cannot share specific information about related investigative proceedings or decisions. It is inaccurate to say that the university has dropped “charges” against any of the named respondents to the investigation. While we are able to comment about Araiza given that he has provided permission to the university to do so, the university cannot comment nor disclose information about the resolution of other students’ cases due to privacy restrictions.”
Araiza submitted a claim against SDSU for damage to his reputation through The California State University Office of the Chancellor, Systemwide Risk Management.
The CSU Office of the Chancellor told ESPN that the claim was returned “based on insufficient evidence and untimeliness.” The form indicates that claims should be filed six months after the incident or a separate sheet with explanation for the late filing should be included.
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