SAN DIEGO — San Diego State University announced Thursday that none of its former students named in a civil suit alleging an off-campus sexual assault are actively being investigated.
The civil suit against former SDSU and Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza, along with two of his former Aztecs teammates Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko, is still working its way through the legal system. In December, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office declined to move forward with criminal charges, saying there was “no path to a potential criminal conviction.”
“While the university cannot provide specific information related to its student disciplinary proceedings or specific information related to student records, it can confirm that none of the former students named in the civil suit are now the subject of an active investigation,” SDSU said in a statement on its Title IX website. “In addition, they are not currently enrolled, active students or affiliated with any athletics activities.”
“SDSU reserves the right to reinstate investigations based on new developments,” the statement continued.
“Matt Araiza is very pleased with the finality of this determination and that it is official that he has now been officially exonerated of any wrongdoing or charges related to the SDSU internal investigation,” Araiza’s civil defense attorney, Dick Semerdjian, said in an emailed statement to FOX 5. “He knew all along that serious false allegations were made against him. Matt is hopeful to resume his status as a proud and distinguished Aztec football program alumni as he continues his efforts to return back to the National Football League.”
SDSU’s announcement comes two days after FOX 5 spoke to Araiza in a one-on-one interview, during which he addressed the allegations. Araiza said he was choosing to speak out now “because now people don’t just have to believe me at my word, there’s a mountain of evidence that supports my innocence,” he said.
Araiza has denied allegations he was involved in an alleged rape at a party in October 2021, but has admitted to having consensual sex with the accuser. District attorney records obtained last week say Araiza left the party an hour before the alleged rape happened. Prosecutors said video evidence they obtained during the investigation show a sexual incident involving the accuser and multiple men.