Rape Allegations Once Again Make National Headlines

On Behalf of | May 22, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

New Information Comes to Light Against NFL Punter

After being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 2022 NFL draft, Matt Araiza was cut from the team after he was named in a civil lawsuit that alleged that he participated in multiple acts of rape (sexual assault) of a 17-year-old girl at a house party while in college. The civil lawsuit was filed shortly after the recent release of a recording of a deputy district attorney explaining to the alleged victim why they would not be pursuing criminal charges against Araiza or others accused. The release has shed new light on the case as Araiza hopes to clear his name in an effort to revive his NFL career. According to the release, the deputy district attorney spoke with the alleged victim for over an hour and a half, detailing issues with the case that include testimony of 35 individuals and 4 terabytes of videos/data. Most notably for Araiza, given the estimated timeline and testimony of witnesses, Araiza was gone from the party at the time of the alleged “gang rape.” The civil case is currently set for trial in October, but the accuser’s attorney offered to settle the case for $50,000, which Araiza declined. Unfortunately for Araiza, even if he wins the civil case, the mere allegations may be enough to keep any NFL team from signing the punter for fear of public backlash.

New Jersey School Admits It Failed to Protect Student Who Committed Suicide After Being Bullied for Unfounded Rape Allegation

On the one-year anniversary of late-student Jack Reid’s suicide, the elite boarding school of Lawrenceville School admitted that it did not do enough to protect the student after unsubstantiated rumors were spread that he was a rapist which likely contributed to his death. Rumors had reportedly been circulating that he had sexually assaulted a girl the prior spring and intensified for over a year, both in person and through anonymous online posting. Although the school investigated the matter and found that there was no evidence to support the rumors, they did not publicly (or even privately) acknowledge their findings despite their knowledge of the bullying. On April 30, 2022, a fellow student who had previously been disciplined for bullying Jack was expelled and allowed to return to their dorm where he and other students began bullying him again. Jack unfortunately took his life that night.

Mere accusations of sexual assault, rape, or other sex crimes are serious matters that can easily lead to criminal charges, civil lawsuits, along with the potential to irreparably harm an individual’s public reputation; they can also have profound professional and even academic consequences in a university setting such as the implementation of Title IX proceedings. Anyone accused of such crimes should immediately hire an experienced attorney who can represent their interests in hopes of protecting their reputation, liberty, and minimizing any damage from any such accusations.


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