Matt Araiza was drafted by the Buffalo Bills into the NFL last April. The team has stated they were unaware at the time that off the field, police were investigating Araiza for sexual assault.
The 18-year-old woman who accused him alleges that Araiza and two other San Diego State University players assaulted her for more than an hour at a party in October. CBS News does not name alleged victims of rape.
She said her phone was taken from her, her piercings were ripped out and she was left bleeding after the alleged assault.
“I was crying, and my friend asked me what happened,” the woman, who was 17 when the incident allegedly happened, told CBS News. “And I told her, ‘I had just been raped.'”
She wrote in her journal the next day: “All I keep replaying in my mind is being face down in a random bed just waiting for it to be over.”
“I was having to deal with this horrible traumatic experience that I never asked for,” she told CBS News.
Araiza’s attorney, Kerry Armstrong, says his client will be vindicated.
“I would be very surprised if they ever charged Matt Araiza with anything in this case,” Armstrong told CBS News. “If she really was raped in that back bedroom, that’s horrible. It’s a horrible thing to happen to anybody. But all I know is that Mr. Araiza had nothing to do with it, and the only thing I can think of as to why she’s included him in this civil lawsuit is because of money.”
When asked about the accusation that her intention was to shake Araiza down for money, the accuser said she felt “sick to the stomach.”
“I reported it the day after it happened. I was 17 years old and I had no idea who Matt Araiza was,” she said.
Araiza joined the NFL in April as a sixth-round draft pick. The team admits learning about the allegation in July. He was dropped by the team after the lawsuit went public.
“It’s not a situation that I or we take lightly whatsoever, and it’s very serious,” Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott said Friday. “It’s just a matter of trying to find the truth at the end of the day, right? That’s the goal is find the truth and do the right thing.”
Araiza’s accuser wonders why his career even got that far.
“I can’t put into words how upsetting it was,” she said, “when I’ve been facing consequences for his actions.”
The San Diego district attorney now has the case. No criminal charges have been filed.