BUFFALO, N.Y. — The parents of former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza are speaking out after their son was accused of gang-raping a then-17-year-old girl last year in California.
"The rule of law is innocent until proven guilty. That is not our experience. There has been [a] war waged on our son," Araiza's parents said in a statement that was released Monday. "He has been tried and convicted in the media based on information released solely from the alleged victim and her attorney, much of it through social media. People have taken his information as factual when it is not."
He was released by the Bills on Saturday after a civil lawsuit was filed in California on Thursday.
"We do not wish this experience on anyone, but question why our son is the only one receiving this kind of treatment by social media and national news media. The vitriol has been on him alone," the parents continued. "He has been extorted, discriminated against, harassed and the subject of multiple and continuous threats of violence and death. He has been released from his job and our entire family continues to receive horrific threats of violence and death. We have all been canceled. Every member of our family."
According to the lawsuit, the alleged incident occurred in 2021 at a Halloween party when he attended San Diego State University.
"Salacious rumors grew as fact. There are multiple witness reports to deny the claims that are made against him. The legal system is designed to find the facts and make decisions. They should be allowed to do that," his parents said.
The victim alleges that she was assaulted for roughly an hour and a half until the party was shut down.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office told WKBW on Friday that they had received and were reviewing the San Diego Police Department's investigation.
They added that there was "no timeline for how long it will take."