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Punter Matt Araiza to be dropped from rape lawsuit as part of settlement with accuser

The woman who said former San Diego State punter Matt Araiza raped her when she was 17 is dismissing Araiza from her civil lawsuit, according to a signed settlement agreement obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

The agreement also calls for Araiza to dismiss his defamation lawsuit against the woman.

Araiza is not paying the plaintiff any money, according to his attorneys, Dick Semerdjian and Kristen Bush.

"While we are here celebrating this victory with Matt and his family, the win is bittersweet," Araiza's attorneys 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."

Attorney Dan Gilleon, who represented the woman, wrote by text message, "This was a mutual settlement agreement in which both sides released each other and neither admitted any wrongdoing.''

The woman's lawsuit will be dismissed within 10 days of the settlement agreement being executed and Araiza's lawsuit will be dismissed within 10 days of that, according to the signed agreement. Both cases are filed in San Diego Superior Court.

The woman filed her lawsuit in August 2022, saying she was gang raped by several men, including Araiza and two other San Diego State football players, in October 2021 at a Halloween party near the San Diego State.

Two days later, Araiza was released by the Buffalo Bills, who had selected the All-American punter in the sixth round of the 2022 draft. No NFL team has offered him a contract since.

Araiza admitted having sex with the teen during the party and said it was consensual. He was 21 at the time of the incident.

In December, San Diego County District Attorney's Office said it would not file charges against Araiza and that he was not present at the time the woman said she was gang raped.

Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza walks on the sideline during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Orchard Park, N.Y., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.
Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza walks on the sideline during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Orchard Park, N.Y., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.

The settlement allows the woman, now 19, to pursue her lawsuit against the other named defendants, former San Diego State football players Zavier Leonard and Nowlin Ewaliko.

"The settlement has no bearing on what happened that night in October 2021," texted Gilleon, the woman's attorney. "The facts will be presented to a jury who will make decisions on who did what and who is liable. That trial is months away.

Araiza's attorneys scheduled a press conference for 9 a.m. Wednesday in San Diego. In a statement, the attorneys said Araiza "is reserving his right to pursue the plaintiff’s attorney (Gilleon)...and his law office for the harm that they have caused him."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Matt Araiza to be dropped from rape lawsuit as part of settlement