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Former Football Player Matt Araiza Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Woman Who Accused Him of Sexual Assault

Former Football Player Matt Araiza Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Woman Who Accused Him of Sexual Assault

“These allegations, the complaint added, ‘have lowered [Araiza] in the eyes of the community, deterred third persons from associating with him, and permanently damaged him in his profession and occupation.'”

Former San Diego State University and Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza lost everything when a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her while at college.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office chose not to charge Araiza and others after it completed the police department’s investigation of the alleged attack:

“Ultimately, prosecutors determined it is clear the evidence does not support the filing of criminal charges and there is no path to a potential criminal conviction. Prosecutors can only file charges when they ethically believe they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” a news release from San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan’s office said.

Araiza admitted to having consensual sex with the woman known as Jane Doe.

Araiza claims a transcript of a conversation between the prosecutors and Doe clears him:

According to prosecutors who had pieced together a timeline of the night, Araiza had left the party about an hour before Doe, who was 17 years old at the time, claims the rape happened. Prosecutors also said video evidence of the accuser engaging in sexual interactions does not identify or place Araiza in the bedroom where the alleged rape took place.

In the filing for his defamation suit against his accuser, Araiza claims that Doe continued to make statements about his involvement despite the discussion during the meeting.

“[She] made these false statements notwithstanding her lengthy and detailed meeting with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office just five months earlier,” the complaint read.

These allegations, the complaint added, “have lowered [Araiza] in the eyes of the community, deterred third persons from associating with him, and permanently damaged him in his profession and occupation.”

Araiza had been released from the Bills in August 2022, following him being named in the sexual assault allegations.

Defamation that is written and/or published is called libel. If spoken, it is called slander.

Overall, there are five elements to a defamation lawsuit:

1. Someone made a statement;
2. The statement was published;
3. The statement caused you injury;
4. The statement was false; and
5. The statement did not fall into a privileged category

Each state has its own anti-defamation statutes. In California, a defamation statement “exposes any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule or obloquy, or which causes him to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him in his occupation.”

In California, the plaintiff must prove these four elements:

1. There was a false statement of fact;
2. Which was published without privilege to a third party;
3. With fault of at least negligence on the part of the defendant; and
4. The statement was either defamatory per se or caused special damages to the plaintiff (defamatory per quod).

I wonder if the statement will be considered defamation per se because those statements “tend to expose the plaintiff to public hatred, contempt, ridicule, aversion, or disgrace, and to induce an evil opinion of him in the minds of right-thinking persons and deprive him of their friendly intercourse or society.”

Published without privilege means the defendant “verbally communicated or published in writing to at least one third-party, other than the plaintiff or defendant.” The statement cannot be protected by privilege, which would be any “communication uttered during judicial or legislative proceedings.”

“At least negligence” means the person “must have either intentionally lied when they made the defamatory statement, or they acted with negligence in determining whether their statement was true or false.”

If it is defamation per see, then the plaintiff does not have to prove “they suffered actual damages as a result of the statement.”

California considers nine types of statements as defamatory per se:

1. Statements charging a plaintiff with a crime (or having been indicted, convicted, or punished for a crime).
2. Statements that label a plaintiff, “communist.”
3. Statements that a plaintiff has an infectious, contagious, or loathsome disease.
4. Statements that subject a person to public hatred, ridicule, or contempt.
5. Statements that a plaintiff is impotent or unchaste.
6. Statements that injure a plaintiff in their office, profession, trade, or business.
7. Statements charging a plaintiff with a violation of the confidence reposed in him.
8. Statements that tend to cause a person to be avoided or shunned.
9. Statements charging a plaintiff with treachery against his associates.

If the alleged defamation is considered defamation per quod, then the plaintiff must prove they suffered damages.

A civil lawsuit against Araiza and two former teammates is still active.


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The Gentle Grizzly | August 14, 2023 at 7:26 am

But but… Always believe the woman!

    I’d rather believe Joe Biden

    SeiteiSouther in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | August 14, 2023 at 9:58 am

    I never do that. Unless I’ve known you for some time. Anybody else? Trust but verify.

      I told my brother, back when he started coaching high school girls basketball, to never, ever be alone with a student. Always have a witness present. And this was at a Catholic girls’ school that I had previously attended.

        empiricallyobvious in reply to WTPuck. | August 14, 2023 at 10:36 pm

        I managed quite a few women over the years. After one unscrupulous one sued and won a sham sexual harassment suit against our VP, I adopted a new defensive strategy:

        Never be anyplace alone. Always drive separate cars to sales calls. Always meet for reviews at a center table in a public restaurant. No physical contact of any kind other than a handshake…no bro/sis hugs, no hugs of any kind. All small talk always centered around my wife and kids and no jokes of any kind.
        Sad but true, but it kept things clean when/if terminations were required…

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | August 14, 2023 at 10:45 am

    NEVER EVER try to stop a young woman wanting to get laid by a football player, a celebrity, or anyone else who can be her sugar daddy.

    Funny though. It appears that certain shades of football players can molest, rape, and abuse women without recourse. But other players get ruined by a mere appearance of having secks with a woman

      ‘ I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger
      But she ain’t messing with no broke…’

      Except that a huge number of these young women are doing so. In a recent survey College age women self reported an AVERAGE of seven (7) sexual partners per academic year.

      That puts a young female college grad with 28 notches on her sexual belt from College alone. Lets add two for HS for a total of 30. Now she’s 22 going into her first adult employment. Add another 3 per year. By the time this woman is 26 she’s had well over 40 different sexual partners.

      Then this young woman decides she doesn’t want to run the streets and the party nightlife anymore. She wants to begin dating with the intention of finding a long-term relationship and marriage. Unfortunately she is going to carry a lot of baggage around from her past that will absolutely cause her problems in finding someone to date seriously long-term.

    But nowadays, how do you know who is the “woman”?

She may actually believe it. Some women are not wrapped too tight. It’s probably some standard delusion or other, though you can’t find it on google. Compare

“Belief that a celebrity is in love with you, syndrome”

Erotomania, What Is It? Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, …
Feb 13, 2022 — Erotomania is when you think someone is in love with you but they’re not. It may be a person you’ve never met. They might even be famous, …
‎Who’s at Risk? · ‎What Causes It?

“Belief that you’ve been raped, syndrome”

National Sexual Assault Hotline: Confidential 24/7 Support
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more …
‎Call 800.656.HOPE · ‎Types of Sexual Violence · ‎After Sexual Assault

Rape Trauma Syndrome – Students
Washington University in St. Louis
Rape trauma syndrome (or RTS) is related to post-traumatic stress disorder but is more specific to sexual assault.

Rape Trauma Syndrome
Department of Justice
Rape Trauma Syndrome is a common reaction to a rape or sexual assault. It is the human reaction to an unnatural or extreme event. There are three phases to …

– Perhaps there is no such condition after all.

It has become too easy to make allegations of criminal conduct that are unsupported by the evidence. There’s got to be a stronger deterrent built into our system.

    Kalir in reply to CommoChief. | August 14, 2023 at 8:19 am

    With these accusations, punishment should match the crime. If an allegation is proven false, apply the minimum sentence an actual rape would be. False accusations absolutely follow people through their lives.

    The same rule could be applied to false hate crimes, like Smollett.

E Howard Hunt | August 14, 2023 at 8:27 am

Good luck with that! Women have an open license to perjure themselves in this country. If you can prove a woman lied on a restraining order, the DA will laugh in you face if you try to pursue charges. If a woman absolutely provably makes false statements about a non-existent rape (for example, you were out of the country and she was among witnesses at the time of its supposed occurrence) only by the most dogged efforts can you get annoyed DAs and judges to take action. She will be charged only with filing a false police report and receive no jail time and have her record expunged after a year for a crime that could have sent you to jail for life. I shudder to think of all the poor slobs in jail for decades because of stupid, brainwashed juries and alcoholic, jobsworth judges. The whole, evil rotten system needs to be abolished and replaced with something new.

    SHAGONTHEFLY in reply to E Howard Hunt. | August 15, 2023 at 11:03 pm

    Remember the Guy in Prison in Illinois like 30 Years ago where the Teenage Girl Recanted her Rape Story ? & the State would Not Exonerate him .

Steven Brizel | August 14, 2023 at 9:36 am

The defendant “Jane Doe” should be deposed and examined by a psychiatrist as to her state of mind and sexual history

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to Steven Brizel. | August 14, 2023 at 10:50 am

    Ohhhhhh, but we’re not supposed to bring up a woman’s sexual history when defending against an accusation of rape. She could have been the town bicycle that everyone had a ride, but that should never be used against her.

    Of course, the man could be a virgin, yet is still guilty without proof.

    This “believe all women” business needs to stop. Proving rape should have the same requirement of evidence as any other crime.

    Why is it that the alleged rape happened 10 or 12 years ago, but the “victim” never called police, never went to the hospital, or never had proof?

I’ve been a LEO for 20 years and the majority of rape cases I’ve had a part in investigating are false allegations. This isn’t unusual. The “believe all women” movement is basically a “put all men in prison and destroy their lives without evidence” movement.

    gonzotx in reply to Just Al. | August 14, 2023 at 11:48 pm

    I was raped in the 70’s, guy had a butcher knife to my neck pushing it in, tore my flesh like a chicken

    The police were disgusting and wanted me to drop the charges

    The only reason it went to
    Court or I should say a preliminary hearing is because in an act of God the asst DA we went in front of I actually knew and dated a few times.
    He knew I was telling the truth

    Yet, this bastard got “insect exposure “, that’s it

    He raped and assaulted me with a 12 inch butchers knife

    Indecent exposure

    I should have shot him

Antifundamentalist | August 14, 2023 at 10:32 am

The way things are going, society will need to have professional Chaperones to prevent any two people from ever being alone together unless they have a binding legal arrangment that allows for that. And it will be mostly to protect the reputations of men against the lies of women who claim to be assaulted rather than to protect women from assault.

I so despise women like this. The scenerio is so common. Some gold digging hoar manages to work her way into a party of wealthy men, hoping to latch onto one who will marry her, and give her all the things in life she wants, but is to stupid to attain on her own.

So it’s defamatory to call someone a communist in California?

She thought this would lead to “Mrs”… or she wants to be paid for services rendered.

StillNeedToDrainTheSwamp | August 14, 2023 at 4:12 pm

Any college guy these days is crazy not to keep it zipped.

Prosecutors can only file charges when they ethically believe they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,”

Or, if there is a chance of forcing Trump to defend himself in court again.

College rape cases are always complicated. In this case, the girl was 17 but told everyone she was 18. She said she was drunk, but her friends didn’t think she looked that drunk. She never refused sex but says she really didn’t want it.

Oddly enough, I think all of this is probably true, She probably did claim to be 18. A lot of young teens lie about their age. She may have been more drunk than her friends knew and she may have been too afraid or intimidated by the situation to say no.

(As an aside, I actually knew someone–she would just freeze when she was scared. One night, a guy she was with did not bother to check with her–as long as she wasn’t kicking and screaming, it was “yes.” She was actually raped but her friends blamed her for not fighting back. Her freeze reaction was completely disregarded. And yes, some young women do just freeze like that.)

For California college students, the law is Yes means Yes. I’m not saying it’s right, but that is the law in California. If the 17-year old did not consent to sex with the multiple males on the video and she was intoxicated, this could have been legally sexual assault in California.

Araiza was apparently not on the video, the way the DA interpreted the video. If I were her attorney, I might ask for independent confirmation. But assuming he is not on the video, he was not there for the gang rape, which is what the young woman claimed.

But there were guys on that video who have been named, and it will now, unfortunately, all hinge on consent. Her amount of intoxication, as judged by her partying friends, may not be judged accurately.

I don’t think we’ll ever really know. And, as for Araiza, he may not be legally guilty but she was drunk and underage. I hope he has a daughter one day and has to deal with a similar situation. Should be interesting.