Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza has released a statement after being exonerated by prosecutors in an alleged rape case.
After conducting a 10-month-long investigation, prosecutors found Araiza was not present at the home where the alleged incident took place.
In a statement provided to ProFootballTalk, Araiza expressed gratitude that his innocence has been made official by the courts.
“I am aware that the facts of this case have been made public. I am deeply gratified for the thorough work of the DA’s office in San Diego and for all the witnesses that were willing to come forward and tell the truth. I am thankful that the facts of this case as provided by the witnesses will prove that what I have been saying from the beginning is, in fact, the truth,” Araiza said in his statement.
Araiza continued by saying that he’s amazed by the support he’s seen in recent days following his official exoneration.
“I can only hope that now people will assess me on the facts and not what was falsely claimed in both the civil suit and in the press… I am beyond thankful for the unwavering support of both my family and friends. They have been a rock in what has been a very dark eight months for me. However, now that the truth is out, I am amazed by the thousands of emails and tweets supporting me. It has truly been a blessing to know so many people have now judged me by the facts.”
In an additional statement provided by his agency, Araiza said he’s excited to now resume his NFL career.
“I am grateful that the District Attorney and the San Diego Police Department have discovered all the facts and found no criminal wrongdoing. I am excited to continue my NFL career.”
Due to the fact that he was released by the Buffalo Bills at the time the civil suit was filed, Araiza is a free agent and can sign with any team in the NFL.
The 22-year-old Araiza, who attended San Diego State University from 2018 to 2021, was drafted by the Bills in the sixth round (180th overall) in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Given that the false allegations against Araiza were made prior to the start of the 2022 season, he’s still yet to appear in a regular season game in the National Football League. Now that he’s been exonerated, hopefully, that changes this upcoming season.