Matt Araiza has not been charged with a crime, but has already pleaded guilty.

The Buffalo Bills spend far too much time preaching how much they believe in individual character and how important it is when researching players they want to sign in the draft and free agency.

“Culture” is a key word for coaches Sean McDermott and Brandon Bean, almost on equal footing, and it can sometimes seem like the word “win.”

However The accusations facing rookie punter Matt Aliza He cast a dark shadow over the organization after a civil lawsuit was filed in Southern California on Thursday, alleging he took part in the gang-rape of a 17-year-old woman in October 2021.

Buffalo Bills:Rookie punter Matt Aliza is accused of participating in the rape of a 17-year-old girl

Buffalo Bills:Why the NFL won’t suspend Matt Alyza for rape and Aaron Donald for shaking his helmet in a brawl

In this case, there’s still a long way to go before anything is decided: Araiza and his two former San Diego State teammates named in the lawsuit have yet to be charged with any crimes.

However, according to the lawsuit, Niiza has already pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor, and it would be very difficult for the Bills to ignore it.

“His confession jumped out when I started reading about the case,” Dallas-based attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel told the Democratic Party and Chronicle on Friday afternoon. “I was like, ‘Wow,’ because a lot of the cases I’m dealing with don’t have the kind of evidence that I would consider shocking.”

A day after the incident at an off-campus Halloween party at Araiza’s home, the plaintiff (whose name has not been released) reported the matter to San Diego police, who launched an investigation.

Her lawsuit alleges that she arranged for sex crimes unit detectives to call all three players she said were involved. He said he should be tested for sexually transmitted infections.

Later in the call, prompted by a detective, she wordlessly asked Aliza about whether she had had sex, and he reversed course and said, “I’m Matt Aliza. Nothing about that night.” I don’t remember.” Then he hung up. The call has been recorded.

Simpson Tügel, a former criminal defense attorney who now specializes in victim rights litigation and has defended survivors in some of the biggest sexual assault cases of the past decade (U.S. gymnast abused by Larry Nassar) (including the players) said that Aliza’s remarks were terrible.

“The first approval is not legal,” said Simpson Tügel. That’s a very questionable statement when faced with evidence of.”

When news of the lawsuit broke Thursday, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, the bill made the following hollow statement:

“We recently learned that there was a civil lawsuit regarding Matt from October 2021. Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we have conducted a thorough investigation into the matter. As such, we have no further comment at this time.”

Appears to have been “recently informed” on July 31st, plaintiffs’ attorney Dan Gilleon emailed the bill, Alyza, Xavier Leonard (he’s still in San Diego) team) and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewalik (no longer with the team).

On the face of it at least, the Bills, who made the right decision and didn’t dress Alyza for Friday night’s preseason game in Carolina, have faced an alleged incident when they used a sixth-round draft pick. You’re trying to make us believe you didn’t know. Four months ago, Punter was nicknamed God.

However, Simpson Tügel said that given the depth with which the Bills and all NFL teams typically investigate prospective new players, it seems rather incomprehensible that the Bills learned of the situation on July 31. be

Teams don’t just watch game films, exercise, and consult medical records. They interview most, or even all, players of their choice (in person, over the phone, or most recently via Zoom) and delve deep into their backgrounds off the football field.

Stones are rarely left untouched, and this certainly looks like a rock that could have been left unattended.

“It was clear that a significant number of college athletes knew about this gang rape, and some of the first reporters and information that reached the school included athletes outside the football team who contacted the college. It was included,” said Simpson Tuegel. He said.

“The Buffalo Bills are arguing that they are currently doing everything they say is currently doing to scrutinize and prevent athletes, their histories, backgrounds, disciplinary actions, and I can’t believe (that they missed this) in the main, who have this kind of problem by being on the team.”

Punter Matt Aliza will send one downfield on Sunday, July 24, 2022, on the first day of training camp for the Buffalo Bills at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.

Punter Matt Aliza will send one downfield on Sunday, July 24, 2022, on the first day of training camp for the Buffalo Bills at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.

The Los Angeles Times reported through the anonymous San Diego State Campus Reporting System that Aliza’s name first surfaced in connection with the rape allegations.

On October 26, 2021, San Diego State University received the first of several submissions from individuals with third-party information regarding an alleged off-campus sexual assault. Rather than launching its own investigation, the university provided information to support the SDPD’s investigation at the request of the San Diego Police Department.

One student was reported to have said on October 26th: But if that’s true, I hope he gets the retribution he deserves and the girl gets brought to justice. ”

The Associated Press reported Friday that at least two teams learned of Aliza’s involvement in some sort of incident during the draft process, and three other teams, who spoke on condition of anonymity, filed the allegations on Thursday when it was broken. I reported that I found out. So the information was out. If Bills really didn’t know anything by July 31st, that’s a pretty poor job on their investigators’ part.

However, after Gillen sent an email, not only did they continue to hold a training camp punt competition between Alyza and Matt Hark, but earlier this week they named Alyza the winner and cut Hark. I know what you knew

Bills hasn’t been formally charged with a crime, so we can only assume he’s standing behind Aliza at this point. It is to let the case progress until a decision is made.

Then you have the following options: Araiza can be released and signed to another punter. They could fine him and/or suspend him. Or they could do nothing until the matter was resolved out of court at some point or his guilt or innocence was proven at trial.

Based on what she read in the lawsuit, “I think they’re good enough to charge him with a crime,” Simpson Tuegel said. As a lawyer who has been defending for 20 years, I think it was a confession and a problematic statement for him.He enters and she is a minor.I don’t know how you can put those facts. I don’t know how to get around it.It’s a real problem.”

As for the NFL, as the incident allegedly occurred before Alyza joined the league, the NFL does not have a say in the matter and is therefore not subject to the league’s personal conduct policy.

“This Policy is issued pursuant to the Commissioner’s authority under the Constitution and Bylaws, Collective Bargaining Agreements, and NFL Player Contracts to define, address and sanction conduct harmful to the league and professional football. Applies to players under contract All rookie players selected in the NFL College Draft All rookie players undrafted following the NFL College Draft All draft-eligible players participating in the Scouting Combine Previous All unsigned veterans who had contracts in the league year of .

Sal Maiorana can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana. To subscribe to Sal’s new bi-weekly newsletter, Bills Blast, follow the link below.

This article originally appeared in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Matt Aliza rape accusation; Buffalo Bills punter pleads guilty