Bills’ investigation of Matt Araiza did not include any alleged victims.

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — The attorney for the California teen who accused a Buffalo Bills rookie and two former college teammates of gang rape last fall said Friday that the NFL team had “conducted a thorough investigation.” He said he had not reached out to him for details, even though he said that “

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The Bills selected Matt Alyza out of San Diego State in the sixth round of April’s NFL Draft and named him the starting punter this week. A person familiar with the case told The Associated Press that the bill was not aware of the allegations against Aliza in April.

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Executives from two different teams told the Associated Press that they became aware of Niiza’s involvement in the incident during the draft process, but neither knew the extent of the allegations.

Dan Gilleon, who represents the California teenagers, said he had not heard from team officials since he first reported the allegations against Alyza in late July, and spoke with team counsel Kathryn D’Angelo on the phone.

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“She seemed concerned,” said Gillen, who posted screenshots of emails she said she sent to D’Angelo on social media and then deleted them. You didn’t speak to me like I said and you didn’t call me back.’ And they ignored it too.”

After the Bills declined multiple requests for comment on Friday, coach Sean McDermott was clearly shaken as he addressed the situation following a 21-0 preseason loss in the Carolinas.

“It’s a very serious situation. “My heart and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved. And that includes Matt. Both sides here. Victims and everyone involved.”

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Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott watches the team play against the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter of a preseason game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 26, 2022.
Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott watches the team play against the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter of a preseason game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 26, 2022. Photo by Grant Halverson /Getty Images

McDermott said he was surprised and shocked by some of the revelations of the day, and reiterated that the team had work to do. When asked what he needed to do, he replied, “At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of trying to find out the truth.”

McDermott said it was his decision not to let Alyza play and he felt it was not the right thing to do. I didn’t.

Previously, Bills’ only comment on the lawsuit was that they were aware of the allegations and had conducted their own investigation.

“The facts of the case are not what is being portrayed in the lawsuit or the press,” Aliza said in a statement released through her attorney, Joe Linta. “I look forward to setting the record straight soon.”

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Quarterback Matt Barkley handled the team’s punt duties against Carolina.

It was unclear whether the Bills’ investigation was closed before they named him to their Day One roster, and the team’s statement did not provide further details.

It also happens as the NFL and the Cleveland Browns are reeling from a scandal involving quarterback Deshawn Watson. Cleveland acquired Watson in a deal with Houston to sign him to a league-record $230 million contract, but he faced civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct against 20 women. I was facing Watson will be suspended for 11 games without pay this season, pay a $5 million fine and undergo professional evaluation. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has also been heavily criticized by members of Congress for not disclosing details of an investigation into the Washington Commanders following allegations of workplace misconduct.

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A person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press that the Bills notified the NFL when they became aware of the incident. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, was unsure about the timeline.

Executives who had limited knowledge of the accusations against Aliza during the draft process said they weren’t interested in picking the punter and therefore didn’t affect his place on the draft board. executives said they were unaware of the allegations against Aliza before the draft and only learned of the incident on Thursday.

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Gillen filed a lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court this week, accusing Alyza and two other San Diego State football players of raping a then-17-year-old girl at a Halloween party at an off-campus home where Alyza lived. The San Diego police investigation has been turned over to the district attorney’s office to decide whether to file charges. DA spokeswoman Tanya Sierra said Friday there is no timeline for how long a decision will take.

Aliza’s attorney, Kelly Armstrong, said the player had known since October that he could be the subject of the allegations. It was unclear. Citing his own findings, Mr. Armstrong said, “I am 100% certain that he forcibly raped this girl or had sex with her while she was passed out or drunk.” I don’t believe it,” he said.

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Armstrong said he shared his findings with the Bills well before the team awarded Aliza, known as the “Punt God”, for performing well in college on Monday. said he told Aliza six weeks before he was detained to speak to Bills officials about the allegations.

“I told him, whenever you try to keep a secret like this, you’ll find it out anyway, so be honest with him.” I think that’s why I’m on the team.”

The NFL declined to comment, except to say it was aware of the issue.

At San Diego State, one of the two remaining players accused remains on the roster while the other is not on the list. The school said it did not conduct an investigation at the request of San Diego police in October.

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“After careful consideration, SDSU has determined that cooperating with criminal investigations is the appropriate course of action to help maximize the likelihood of real consequences for those charged.” said the university. A Title IX investigation, which began in July, is ongoing.

The Bills appear to be following the same approach four years ago when Rambac LeSean McCoy was accused of beating his ex-girlfriend during a break-in at a house he owned in suburban Atlanta. Bills sided with McCoy, who was never charged in the matter, and eventually reached an undisclosed settlement in the lawsuit brought against him.

Gillen and Armstrong exchanged public accusations, so the possibility of a settlement of the lawsuit against Aliza was unclear.

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Armstrong said Aliza was against the settlement, but a lawyer said the player’s parents had asked him to contact Gillen about the possibility. However, Gillen posted on his Twitter account some of the text exchanges he had with Armstrong in late July.

He told the Associated Press that he did so in response to a client claiming Armstrong was “trying to get the cash because he’s Buffalo Bill.”

“My client refused to accept the idea of ​​a financial settlement,” Gillen texted to the Associated Press. When A. started the clown show, I realized that it was futile to try to reason with him and withdrew my offer to speak with civil counsel before filing a lawsuit.”

Gillen said Aliza’s decision to sue three days after she was given the punt job was a result of growing frustration with the lack of feedback from police on the progress of their investigation. said.

“They’re just blowing us away,” Gillen said. “By filing a lawsuit, we have the power of a subpoena so we can force them to do what they have to do.”

Associated Press writer Julie Watson, AP Pro Football writer Rob Maaddi, and AP Sports writer Steve Reed contributed to this report.

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Bills’ investigation of Matt Araiza did not include any alleged victims.

Source link Bills’ investigation of Matt Araiza did not include any alleged victims.

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