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Judge denies Matt Araiza's request to hold rape lawsuit trial next month

Former NFL and Aztec punter Matt Araiza appearing in court with his attorneys, July 14, 2023.
Former NFL and Aztec punter Matt Araiza appearing in court with his attorneys, July 14, 2023.

Editor's note: This story contains details some readers may find disturbing.

A judge Friday denied former San Diego State punter Matt Araiza's request to be tried separately from his co-defendants in the ongoing civil lawsuit accusing him and other ex-Aztecs of rape.

Araiza sought to keep an October trial date as he alleged delays in the case are preventing him from securing a spot in the National Football League. Instead, the case for all defendants will go to trial in February at the earliest.

Araiza's attorneys recently filed a motion to sever his case from the other defendants sued in connection with an alleged October 2021 gang rape of a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus house party.


In their motion, his attorneys wrote Araiza "has been unable to secure employment because of plaintiff's false allegations. He seeks to maintain the Oct. 20, 2023, trial date in hopes of clearing his name and getting an opportunity to play in this season with the NFL."

In support of their motion, Araiza's attorneys argued that he faces different allegations from other defendants, who are accused of raping the woman in a bedroom. Araiza claims he left the party before that alleged rape occurred.

Araiza, nicknamed the "Punt God" in college, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills, but was cut after the allegations surfaced.

A few months after the woman's lawsuit was filed, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office announced it would not pursue criminal charges against Araiza or the other players. Araiza filed a defamation lawsuit against the woman in July.

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