SAN DIEGO — Former San Diego State punter Matt Araiza will be dismissed from a lawsuit that accused him of raping a then 17-year-old girl at an off-campus house party, his attorneys said Tuesday.
As part of an agreement reached between Araiza and his accuser, Araiza will dismiss his defamation countersuit against the young woman. The agreement does not include any monetary terms.
The civil case is currently still active against four other former SDSU football players, with a trial scheduled for February.
Araiza’s attorneys say the agreement also allows him to pursue potential legal action against the woman’s attorney, Dan Gilleon, and his law firm.
“While we are here celebrating this victory with Matt and his family, the win is bittersweet,” Araiza’s attorneys, Dick Semerdjian and Kristen Bush, said in a statement. “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.”
The statement alleges that “extensive evidence” led to the case’s dismissal and that Araiza is seeking to pursue an NFL career that was halted after the 2022 lawsuit was filed.
In her lawsuit, the woman identified in court as Jane Doe alleged she had sex with Araiza outside the home where the party occurred, then was brought into a bedroom where a group of men raped her while she was heavily intoxicated.
Araiza’s attorneys argued any interactions between Araiza and the women were consensual and that he was not present at the party when the alleged gang rape occurred.
Gilleon told the San Diego Union-Tribune that his client could not afford continued legal action against Araiza after he filed a “legally baseless” defamation suit against her in response to her lawsuit.
Araiza, nicknamed the “Punt God” in college, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills, but was cut after the allegations surfaced.
A few months after the woman’s lawsuit was filed, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced it would not pursue criminal charges against Araiza or the other players.