Editor’s Note: The following story deals with sexual assault, and may be distressing for some readers.
If you or someone you know is in need of support, those in Canada can find province-specific centres, crisis lines and services here. For readers in America, a list of resources and references for survivors and their loved ones can be found here.
SAN DIEGO — Matt Araiza, a Buffalo Bills punter who formerly played for San Diego State, and two of his former Aztecs teammates were accused in a civil lawsuit Thursday of gang-raping a teenager at an off-campus party last fall.
The lawsuit, filed in San Diego County Superior Court, accuses Araiza, Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko of gang-raping a then-17-year-old girl at a Halloween party at a home where Araiza had been living.
The plaintiff, now 18, is identified in the complaint as “Jane Doe” because she was underage at the time.
No arrests have been made and San Diego Police have not publicly identified any suspects.
Leonard is listed on San Diego State’s roster as a redshirt freshman offensive lineman from Arlington, Texas. Ewaliko is not listed on this year’s roster, but was on the 2021 roster as a defensive lineman from Seattle.
The lawsuit states that the teen had been drinking with friends when they decided to go to the party on Oct. 17 and she was “observably intoxicated upon arrival.” She became separated from her friends and was approached by Araiza who offered her a drink, according to the lawsuit. She believes the drink “not only contained alcohol, but other intoxicating substances,” the complaint said.
She told Araiza, who was 21 at the time, that she was a high school senior, according to the lawsuit. She alleges he then led her to a side yard where he asked her to perform oral sex and then had sex with her before taking her to a bedroom in the home. There were at least three other men in the room, including Leonard and Ewaliko, according to the complaint. The lawsuit states that Araiza threw the teen onto the bed and she went in and out of consciousness while she was being raped. It added, “but she does remember some moments from the horrific gang rape.”
After an hour-and-a-half, the teen “stumbled out of the room bloody and crying,” according to the complaint. Her nose, belly button, and ear piercings had been pulled out.
She immediately told her friends about the rape and the next day reported it to police and underwent a rape exam, according to the lawsuit. Officers coached her on calling Araiza, which she did 10 days later as detectives recorded it, according to the complaint.
During the call, Araiza confirmed having sex with her, the lawsuit states, but when she asked him “And did we have actual sex?” he responded “This is Matt Araiza. I don’t remember anything that happened that night” and hung up.
“This was a horrific crime, the kind of which happens all too often,” attorney Dan Gilleon said in a statement to the AP. Gilleon said this case is especially egregious because it not only involved “self-entitled athletes,” but multiple organizations from the university to the Buffalo Bills “have acted the part of enablers looking the other way in denial that my client deserves justice even if the defendants are prized athletes.”
The Los Angeles Times first reported the lawsuit.
Attorney Kerry Armstrong, who represents Araiza in the criminal investigation, called the allegations untrue based on the findings of an investigator he hired.
“I 100% do not believe that he ever forcibly raped this girl or had sex with her while she was passed out or drunk or anything like that,” Armstrong told the AP. “It’s unfortunate that she’s filed a civil suit. I think it’s a cash grab.”
Armstrong said the Bills were aware of the allegations and investigation of Araiza before the lawsuit was filed because he provided the team updates since he was retained by the punter about six weeks ago.
“Matt Araiza’s very upset about this, as you can imagine. He’s very disappointed,” Armstrong said. “But he’s going to get his day in court eventually.”
Armstrong said he’s been informed police have all but completed their criminal investigation, which will then be reviewed by the district attorney to determine whether to file charges.
Marc Xavier Carlos, who is representing Ewaliko in an ongoing criminal investigation, and Jamahl Kersey, representing Leonard, told the Times they could not comment.
The lawsuit comes days after the Bills cleared the way for Araiza to take over the punting duties by releasing returning veteran Matt Haack. Buffalo drafted Araiza in the sixth round because of his booming left leg.
The 22-year-old Araiza, who attended San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo High, was SDSU’s most recognizable player during a school-record 12-2 season that netted a No. 25 ranking in the final AP Top 25 poll. He routinely flipped the field with his jaw-dropping punts and set an NCAA record with a 51.19-yard average. He won the Ray Guy Award and was a first-team AP All-American.
“We were recently made aware of a civil complaint involving Matt from October 2021,” the Bills said in a statement. “Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted a thorough examination of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case, we will have no other comment at this point.”
The Bills traveled to Carolina for their exhibition finale at the Panthers on Friday night. It’s unclear whether Araiza will play against the Panthers, though the Bills have no other punter on their roster. Haack has since signed with the Indianapolis Colts.
Mariners-Blue Jays 2022 Wild Card Series Game 1 FAQ – MLB.com
TORONTO — After regular-season campaigns with very few dull moments, two postseason-hungry clubs are ready for October.
The Blue Jays and Mariners face off in Game 1 of the American League Wild Card Series on Friday at Rogers Centre.
Seattle snapped the largest active playoff drought in MLB by securing the second AL Wild Card spot with a 90-72 regular-season record, while Toronto will play a postseason game in front of its fans for the first time since 2016.
Since the Blue Jays secured home-field advantage by finishing the regular season with the best record among AL Wild Card teams, at 92-70, all of the games in the best-of-three set will be played at Rogers Centre. The winner gets a date with the Astros in the American League Division Series.
For both teams, this moment is a balancing act between excitement and the demands of the spotlight.
“It’s the postseason, where confidence can play an important role here,” Castillo said through interpreter Freddy Llanos. “And when I go up on that mound, I’m very confident.”
When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 1: Friday, 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT, ESPN (Sportsnet in Canada)
Game 2: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT, ESPN (Sportsnet in Canada)
Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, ABC (Sportsnet in Canada)
All series are available in the US on MLB.TV with authentication to a participating Pay TV provider. Games are not available live internationally (archives are available approximately 90 minutes after the game ends).
What might the starting lineups look like?
Mariners: Manager Scott Servais hinted on Thursday that the lineup will likely look similar to what he’s rolled out in recent weeks, with Julio Rodríguez and Ty France at the top, followed by Mitch Haniger, Eugenio Suárez and Carlos Santana in some order. Servais likes to go right-left when possible, especially against a power pitcher like Manoah.
Blue Jays: Toronto’s biggest decision comes at the DH spot, but with Alejandro Kirk catching Manoah in Game 1, Danny Jansen has been swinging the bat too well to keep him out of the lineup. This is close to the order that the Blue Jays were using down the stretch against the Yankees and Red Sox as they tried to clinch a postseason spot, then home field.
Who are the starting pitchers?
Mariners: Castillo (8-6, 2.99 ERA) takes the mound bringing supreme confidence after a stellar 11-start stretch after the Mariners acquired him ahead of the Trade Deadline. Though his postseason experience is limited to 2020, when there were no fans in the stands, Castillo has already established himself as a big-game pitcher and welcomes this stage.
Blue Jays: Manoah (16-7, 2.24 ERA) opens the series, and the Blue Jays couldn’t be happier. The big right-hander is built for the postseason and seems to feed off the moment and crowd as well as anyone in baseball. September’s AL Pitcher of the Month is peaking at the right time, and he should benefit from some extra rest just like he did in his last outing.
Mariners: Sam Haggerty (Grade 2 right adductor strain) won’t be on the postseason roster after suffering the injury on Monday, dealing the Mariners a big blow for their sparkplug off the bench. Jesse Winker (cervical disc bulge) also hit the 10-day IL this week, though his role was more unclear given his significant defensive struggles and brutal second half at the plate. Instead, the Mariners will lean on Taylor Trammell and Abraham Toro, the players who were recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to take those guys’ places.
Blue Jays: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (left hamstring strain) and Santiago Espinal (left oblique strain) both flew home from Baltimore early this week to continue their rehabs in the controlled atmosphere at Rogers Centre, and each decision is expected to come right down to the wire. It’s also a question of just how ready either would be after Gurriel said Monday that he may only be ready to pinch-hit by the postseason opener. Would that be enough, especially considering the talent already in this lineup?
The only issue on the pitching side is expected to be a minor one and no longer an issue by Game 2, but Kevin Gausman left his final regular-season outing with a cut on his right middle finger, near the nail. Both Gausman and manager John Schneider said this shouldn’t impact his expected Game 2 start, but it’s worth keeping an eye on over the next 24 hours.
Who is hot and who is not?
Mariners: Rodríguez rocketed his 28th homer in the regular-season finale, putting the finishing touches on an AL Rookie of the Year Award bid, and given how much he already relishes the big stage, it’s a strong bet that he’ll impact this series. As for who’s not, Crawford’s inconsistencies have stretched all the way into a two-month period, with the shortstop slashing .200/.340/.259 (.599 OPS) over the final two months.
Blue Jays: Several Blue Jays are peaking at the right time, which started with Bichette in September. Bichette hit .403 with a 1.134 OPS that month, his 48 hits the most in a single month by a Blue Jays hitter. Merrifield has caught fire since taking over everyday reps from Espinal, too, flashing some power down the stretch and completely flipping the script on his ‘22 season with the Blue Jays. Jansen, who started the year hot then hit the IL with a fractured bone in his hand, is back in a groove, too, and could be an X-factor in this series at the bottom of the lineup.
If there’s one hitter the Blue Jays need more from, though, it’s Guerrero. He’s had his moments, like his walk-off hit to beat the Yankees in 10 innings on Sept. 26, but he simply hasn’t been the hitter everyone saw in ‘21, when he looked like a perennial MVP candidate and Triple Crown threat. Guerrero’s potential impact is unrivaled, though, and the Blue Jays need him to break a game open.
Anything else I should know?
Mariners: Seattle hasn’t been on this stage in a generation, and there are only a handful of players on the roster who have any postseason experience. Because of how green they are, they could be susceptible to a sink-or-swim effect, but they’ve also shown late-inning resiliency to punch back when the stakes are high.
Blue Jays: The Blue Jays are ready to be aggressive, a mindset they’ve been preaching since Schneider took the reins in July. That starts on the bases, where the Blue Jays have done a much better job of taking extra bags, but it could extend to bullpen usage, too. Jordan Romano, the Canadian closer coming off a season with a 2.11 ERA and 36 saves, has made nine multi-inning (1 1/3 or more frames) appearances this season. They certainly won’t shy away from another.
Stutzle's three-point night propels Senators over Canadiens in Gander, N.L. – Sportsnet.ca
Tim Stutzle recorded a goal and two assists as the Ottawa Senators won their third consecutive game over the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 Thursday in pre-season action at the Steele Community Centre in Gander, N.L.
Drake Batherson opened the scoring just 38 seconds into the game, followed by a Brady Tkachuk goal under eight minutes later as Ottawa (4-3) took an early 2-0 lead.
Kaiden Guhle put Montreal (0-6-1) on the board 12:23 into the first period to cut the deficit.
In the second, Kirby Dach scored a power-play goal to even the game for the Canadiens 5:13 into the period. However, Stutzle responded six minutes later to put Ottawa up once again.
Claude Giroux added to the Senators’ lead 8:02 into the final period. Josh Anderson scored for Montreal a minute later but that was all the Canadiens could muster.
Anton Forsberg stopped 20-of-23 shots he faced in the victory while his counterpart Cayden Primeau made 22 saves for Montreal.
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Online gambling in Canada: The risks and how to stay safe
Gambling is a popular pastime in Canada, with many people regularly taking part in activities such as the lottery, casinos, and online gambling.
While gambling can be a fun and enjoyable way to spend time, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved.
How to online gamble safely in Canada – A guide for beginners
There are a few things to keep in mind when gambling online in Canada, especially if you’re a beginner.
First and foremost, you should only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. It’s also important to set limits for yourself – both on how much you’re willing to spend and how much time you’re willing to spend gambling.
It’s also a good idea to do some research before you start gambling. This means reading up on the different types of games available on N°1 guide to online gambling in Canada, as well as the odds of winning. Once you have a good understanding of the basics, you can then start looking for an online casino that offers the games and odds that you’re interested in.
What are the risks of online gambling in Canada?
There are a few risks associated with online gambling in Canada, but they are relatively minor. The biggest risk is probably financial, as it can be easy to get carried away and spend more money than you intended to.
Another risk is that of addiction, as gambling can be quite addictive. If you find yourself spending more and more time gambling, or if you start neglecting other aspects of your life in favor of gambling, it might be time to seek help.
Finally, there is the risk of getting scammed. There are a lot of scams out there, and some of them target people who gamble online. Be sure to do your research and only gamble with reputable sites to minimize this risk.
What types of online gambling are available in Canada?
The most popular type is online casino gambling, which includes games such as slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker. There are also many sports betting websites available in Canada, where you can bet on your favourite teams and players. Finally, there are also online lottery websites where you can purchase tickets for various lottery games.
So if you’re thinking about gambling online, remember to do your research, choose a reputable site, and most importantly, don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.
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